Page 11 - RealDirtENG2017new
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DID YOU KNOW?
Cattle come in di erent shapes and sizes depending on the breed.
About beef cattle
Beef cattle are speci c breeds of cattle that are raised for meat. Beef cows and their calves typically live on pasture during spring, summer, and fall, with a diet composed mostly of grasses. They have
a thick coat of hair, meaning that they can live comfortably outdoors year-round, as long as they have a good supply of feed and water, and adequate shelter. Canada’s major beef cattle breeds include Aberdeen Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Simmental, Limousin, Maine-Anjou, Salers, Gelbvieh, and Shorthorn.
When they reach a weight of approximately 400 to 460 kilograms (about 900 to 1,000 pounds), beef cattle are usually moved from  elds and ranges to penned yards
or barns called feedlots. Feedlots are specially designed open pens or barns that allow for more controlled animal management, while providing full access to clean feed and water, shelter from
the weather, good air  ow, and safe, comfortable footings. Once in the feedlot, cattle are gradually transitioned from a diet of mainly forages (grasses and other plants) to a higher-energy diet of grains (like barley or corn), hay silage (chopped and naturally fermented plants) minerals, and hay. This diet contributes to marbled, higher quality grades of beef; marbling is the dispersion of fat within lean meat that helps to give beef  avour and tenderness.
Courtesy of FFC Saskatchewan
What is “grass fed” beef?
You may see a “grass fed” label on some beef available for sale. This label means that the animal lived on a pasture for some or all of its life, until it reached market weight. In terms of nutritional value, the difference between grass and grain fed beef is small and makes little to no difference in the health bene ts
of one’s overall diet. Generally speaking, beef from grass fed animals can be leaner by comparison, with some differences in Vitamin B, potassium and calcium. These differences, however, are minor. Other factors such as the type of beef cut, the cooking method, source of feed while on pasture, cattle breed and exercise can also contribute to variations in fat and nutrient content of the meat.18
Susan Sloane
Kim Sytsma
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