On most Canadian beef farms, beef cows and their calves live on pasture during the spring, summer and fall, eating mostly a grass diet. Then, they generally move into feedlots where they grow until they are ready to go to market.
Various ingredients are mixed together which can include a mixture of corn silage, grain corn, haylage (chopped alfalfa and grass) wet distillers’ grain, vitamins and minerals.
A high quality balanced ration is important for feeding beef cattle because it keeps them healthy and meets their needs as the cattle grow. Farmers want the cattle to grow and develop properly before they put on weight because it’s healthier for the cattle.
DYK: Beef cattle are ruminant animals (meaning they have four compartments in their stomach). That allows them to digest materials that cannot be used by people and convert it into high-protein food for human consumption. About 30 percent of Canada’s agricultural land is too hilly, rocky, cold or wet to grow crops, but it can support grazing livestock like cattle. Grazing cattle, like the bison that came before them, are great for the environment and play a very important role in the ecosystem by supporting biodiversity and soil health.