Effects of winter feeding strategies with and without extended grazing on cow-calf productivity

Traditional winter-feeding management in western Canada involves housing cattle in sheltered areas or pens and feeding them hay, silage, straw and grain in various combinations depending on the feeds available and nutrient requirements of the cattle. Harvesting and storing feed, and hauling bedding, feed, and manure result in increased costs. Winter-feeding and management may account for up to two-thirds of the total cost of primary beef production in Canada (Kaliel and Kotowich, 2002). Extending the grazing season from summer into autumn and winter reduces these costs (McCartney et al., 2004). This study determined the impact of winter-feeding strategies with and without extended grazing on cow body weight, body condition score, and calf body weight at weaning.

Researchers: Getahun Legesse1, Julie Small2, Shannon Scott2, Ermias Kebreab1, Gary Crow1, Hushton Block2, Clayton Robins2, Mohammad Khakbazan2 and Paul McCaughey2

Affiliation: 1 University of Manitoba, 2 Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Brandon Research Centre

This is a series of 3 projects completed May 2012:
Read the Technical Bulletin 2 – #2012-02
Technical Bulletin 1
Technical Bulletin 3