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General Feeding

Nutrition is the foundation of cattle health and performance. Finding the right feed type for your operation, the right balance between feed cost and performance, however, isn't easy. Here is some information that may help you.

Topics:
Winter Feeding
Backgrounding
Feed and Performance
Beef Rations

Winter Feeding

Cold Weather Feeding Adjustments for Cows
Alberta Agriculture and Food
Answers to frequently asked questions about winter feeding, such as "Does the breed of cattle have an effect on energy requirements?" and "How does cold weather affect a lactating cow's energy requirements?"

Importance of Increasing Milk Replacer for Wintering Calves
Dr. Jim Quigley, calfnotes.com
This factsheet describes the amount of additional energy calves need in the winter. Download an Excel spreadsheet that will allow you to calculate the amount of calf milk replacer to be added to meet this need.

Beef Cow Rations and Winter Feeding Guidelines
Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food, and Rural Revitalization
Winter feeding and ration guidelines to help prevent the over- and underfeeding of beef cattle, both of which can prove costly for the producer. (PDF)

Feeding Frost-Damaged and Sprouted Grain to Livestock
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
According to this report, "there appears to be little, if any, reduction in feeding value with sprouted or frost-damaged grain when fed by weight."

Backgrounding Calf Nutrition

Backgrounding - Cattle Feeder Nutrition
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
Backgrounding allows the producer, in the words of this factsheet, to "provide optimal growth and development of the muscle and frame of the calf, while avoiding excess fat deposition." (602 KB PDF)

Typical Background Diets for Calves
Ontario Agriculture and Food
Develop a ration for backgrounding calves that will, at a reasonable price, meet the calves' nutritional requirements and effect a reasonable rate of weight gain.

Typical Beef Feedlot Diets
Ontario Agriculture and Food
Feedlot diets typically consist of corn grain, a high energy feed. Other kinds of feed can also be used in combination with corn or corn products.

Feed and Performance

Feeding to Boost Reproductive Performance of Cows and Heifers
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
Save on feed costs and maximize reproductive performance simply by providing your breeding herd with nutritious feed. It's important, this article states, to correlate optimum body condition scores with the four main feeding stages in a cow's yearly production cycle.

Effect of Feeding on Reproductive Capacity of Young Bulls
Alberta Agriculture and Food
An eight-year study conducted by the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Lethbridge examined the effects of a high versus medium-energy diet on the sperm production of young bulls.

Feeding and Managing Replacement Heifers
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Calving cows by the age of two years old increases their productivity, but only if a sturdy nutrition and management regime is in place.

Beef Rations

Beef Ration Rules of Thumb
Alberta Agriculture and Food
Determine both the quality and quantity of feed required, both for individual cows per day and for the herd in winter.

Managing Your Feed
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Research has shown that one third of all feed can be wasted from exposure to the elements -- precipation, scavengers. This factsheet offers ways to better manage your feed, an expense that accounts for 60 per cent of expenditures.

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