Latest articles


Creep feeding – What side of the debate are you on?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Creep feeding is a management practice where nursing calves are fed supplemental feed while on pasture. Its economic benefits have been hotly debated by those in industry and academia alike. Those in favour point to the increased value of heavier calves at weaning, the potential sparing of summer forage supplies, and the health benefits associated […] Read more


What goes around, comes around with protein: Part 2

Nutrition with John McKinnon

In my April column I focused on the principles of protein nutrition in beef cattle with an emphasis on rumen degradable and undegradable protein and on meeting the metabolizable protein needs of the animal. The reason that I focused on this topic was my experiences this past winter with producers who were having difficulty meeting […] Read more



Red Williams: A remarkable life!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

This year is one of reflection and celebration for the staff and readers of Canadian Cattlemen as it celebrates 80 years of publishing. In the spirit of this celebration, I would like to reflect on and celebrate the life of a man whose passion for Canada, Canadian agriculture and in particular the Canadian beef industry […] Read more




cows eating pellets- Glen Nicoll

McKinnon: The math behind animal nutrition lingo

When I visit with producers about their feeding program, I often get questions on “nutrition lingo.” Examples include questions on the meaning of a mineral or protein supplement tag or how much supplement do you need to feed to achieve an ionophore concentration of 22 or 33 ppm? Such confusion is understandable, particularly when you […] Read more


What happened to the vitamin supply?

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Many of you are likely aware that the feed industry is facing a critical shortage of vitamins A and E. This shortage is the result of a fire in October at a processing plant in Germany owned by BASF, one of the global leaders in the provision of vitamins for humans and livestock. The damaged […] Read more



Yikes ­— another crazy winter!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

The winter of 2017-18 is shaping up to be full of unexpected challenges, particularly for those wintering cows in Western Canada. Drought, as well as recent wildfires, have caused many producers to scramble for a forage supply. As well, “old man winter” in all his wisdom has arrived early, with November temperatures in the minus […] Read more


Forage quality from the perspective of 1-billion bacterial cells

Nutrition with John McKinnon

It is a time of year when feedlot operators and cow-calf producers are implementing their winter feeding programs. Forage, whether it is fed as hay, stockpiled forage (i.e. barley swaths or standing corn) or silage will play a big role in the vast majority of these operations. For feedlot operations, good-quality hay is often used […] Read more



Yo-Yo diet strategies

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Getting weaned calves on feed can be a challenge. This is often attributed to the change from a forage-based diet to unfamiliar feedlot rations and feed bunks, distress from recent weaning, illness, etc. To compensate for this, some feeders use a relatively high-energy receiving diet, the rationale being that if they’re not going to eat […] Read more


Abnormal weather doesn’t grow average forage

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Averages are useful statistics, but sometimes averages can be misleading. As the University of Saskatchewan’s late Iain Christison said, “the average human has one breast and one testicle.” Canada’s rainfall may be close to average this year — but much of the country is experiencing severe drought, and most of the rest is soaked. Either […] Read more