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Apr 27, 2008 05:39 PM

Beef from Alberta (split from Ontario board)

If I'm sourcing well fed beef from clean pastures, I'm now looking at Saskatchewan and Eastern Ontario. Alberta beef makes me nervous now.

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  1. How is that? The AB cattle graze all summer, or feed on hay in winter and they are finished on grain, not corn, and not in mile wide pens as in Kansas or Iowa.

    6 Replies
      1. re: torontovore

        Thanks, I guess I knew that! Can you shed any light on the husbandry practices in Alberta? I haven't heard much, except that grains other than corn are used for finishing.

        1. re: jayt90

          Typical finishing rations for Alberta bison would consist of wheat greenfeed bales and a concentrate mix of alfalfa pellets, corn, barley, and minerals. The inclusion and proportions of each ingredient would mostly depend upon its current market cost. I'll see what I can find out about the beef industry but I imagine it's fairly similar.

          1. re: jayt90

            I found this at the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development website: "Barley has been grown by man since 3,000 BC and is the grain most often fed to growing and finishing beef cattle in Alberta."

            1. re: torontovore

              Googs, what is your concern about Alberta beef? It may not be organic, but grazing and feeding is way better than a gigantic feedlot elsewhere. The grazing land in the Peace River valley, and the foothills is idyllic.
              And why eastern Ontario but not northern or southwestern?
              Just curious.

        2. re: jayt90

          Cattle in Iowa graze all summer and eat hay in the winter. They are finished on corn generally, but the mile-wide pens you cite are more common in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, etc. Now piggies are a different story in Iowa.

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