“The News Feed Live” Webinar Series #1– “Best Practices for Starting Cattle on Feed” Producer Videos & Panel Discussion

February 10, 2022

The story line for our first webinar in February, 2022, was the Summer of 2021’s video which focused on the arrival of new cattle to the feedlot. We emphasized conducting a risk assessment of in-coming cattle from a health standpoint, with the matching of a series of starter rations introduced during that early transition period. We also discussed the number of step-up rations typically used and the differences in fibre level requirements of those rations as the cattle progress through the feeding period.

Our introductory video is highlighting the Results of the Feed Industry Survey on Cattle Feeding Practices, is titled “ON Beef Feedlot Feed Industry Questionnaire 2021 – What We Learned” The purpose of this survey was to capture the perspective of the feedlot sector in Ontario from the eyes of professionals that interact with producers in a business relationship/mentor capacity. We were asking the feed industry to comment on their customers as a group, identifying the strengths and weaknesses in the managing of their customers feedlots. In other words, what functions of feedlot management overall needs to be examined in more detail to help producers improve in those identified areas.

The second video of the webinar “Bunk Management for Newly Received Cattle” was shown as a preamble to describe what we as a group were aiming to accomplish with these videos and webinars. We went about collecting and documenting the information in a way that people could understand. The message was portrayed as a “Show Me” video, which we felt had the ability to resonate with the viewer in a more positive manner because of the cameras capturing what really happened.

Our thought process into creating this webinar was to emphasize the importance of the following statements content - The real connection between Rumen Health and Bovine Respiratory Disease is well documented with data from a number of research trials. This research alludes to the importance of a proper starter program to transition the new arrivals onto feed, striving to minimize any rumen acidosis and stimulate/nurture the animal’s immune system to its maximum. Obviously, this concept needs involvement by your team of professionals, vet and nutritionist to discuss how to best identify and
implement the best transition protocols for the new arrivals.

The third video “Best Practices for Starting Cattle on Feed” includes the participating producer’s videos and the panel discussion. The three featured producer peers in the webinar, very openly explained what their goals were for incoming cattle, protocols they put in place and how they were implemented and managed on their feedlot operations. The producers discussed examples of differences between groups of cattle including origin, yard, grass, backgrounded, just weaned and weight ranges to emphasize their

As much as the three operations we focused on were very different, the approach to animal health, transition period and efficiencies were very similar. In fact, one producer mentioned very emphatically that he was astounded at how similar all three operations valued the same principles in starting new arrivals on feed.