GFM Network News


How can you ensure your cows get an adequate supply of fat-soluble vitamins, particularly during late pregnancy and early lactation?

Vitamins to consider when cattle feeding

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to discuss winter feeding programs with numerous cow-calf producers across the country. One positive trend that I have noticed from these discussions is the widespread acceptance of mineral feeding. However, when it comes to vitamins, there seems to be confusion or in some cases skepticism about the […] Read more

Shortages of Vitamin A and E will have an impact on calf survival and breeding season this year.

Livestock industry faces trouble ahead from vitamin shortage

Health: News Roundup from the May 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

My all-time favourite TV show remains the 1990s comedy “Home Improvement,” and my favourite actor: Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen). Since the show aired three decades ago, I have crossed paths with remakes of every character in racehorse barns, in feed alleys, at stock shows across Canada, and in western Canadian branding corrals. I’ve […] Read more


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


Nestle to buy Canadian nutrition firm Atrium

London | Reuters — Nestle is buying Canadian vitamin and nutritional supplement maker Atrium Innovations for US$2.3 billion, expanding its presence in consumer healthcare as it seeks to offset weakness in packaged foods. The world’s largest packaged food company said on Tuesday it will buy the maker of vitamins, probiotics and meal replacements from a […] Read more

Vitamin E and selenium — the odd couple!

Nutrition with John McKinnon

Mineral nutrition is a recurring theme in this column, attesting to the importance of this class of nutrients in the diets of cattle. I have not, however, paid as much attention to vitamins, which, when deficient, can be as limiting to performance and health as many minerals. With this article I would like to specifically […] Read more


It's a good practice to review your feeding programs well before calving season to make sure your cattle are getting optimum nutrition.

Supplementing Vitamins A, D and E to beef cattle

Vitamins like minerals are essential nutrients for cattle. As a group, they are involved in all aspects of the animal’s metabolism including growth, reproduction and health. There are two general classes of vitamins. These include the water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. The water-soluble ones include the B vitamins and vitamin C. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, […] Read more