EXT 1 Impact of winter feeding and vaccination strategies on carcass outcomes in beef cattle


Project Details

At this Johnson Research Field, MBFI is researching cow-calf nutrition and needle-free vaccination. This page provides information about this particular research project; including the background, objectives, and updates.

  • Project Lead: Kim Ominski, Professor (University of Manitoba) | Send Email
  • Project Start: September 2015
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Location: Johnson Research Field (North Dakota State University (NDSU), Manitoba Slaughter Facility)

For more Information Click Here to View our 2015 Technical Bulletins

For more Information Click Here to View our 2016 Report


About This Project

In Western Canada, increased nutrient demand associated with decreased temperatures and increased fetal growth may lead to nutrient deficiencies in pregnant cattle. As a result of compromised maternal nutrition fetal muscle development, body weight gain, hot carcass weight, back fat and marbling of their offspring may result.

A needle-free vaccination strategy is being developed for its use in cattle, but its effect on carcass outcomes has yet to be tested. These two concepts will be tested during this three-year research project.


  1. To measure the performance in nutrient-restricted vs. non-restricted cows during the winter-feeding period.
  2. To measure the growth performance, muscle development, and carcass outcomes of the calves from restricted and non-restricted cows.
  3. To measure the impact of injection techniques using needle-free vs. needle syringe injections on carcass outcomes, including injection site reactions.
  4. To develop potential management strategies to improve cow performance as well as growth and carcass outcomes of the offspring.
  5. To measure economic impacts of nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy on profitability.
  6. To establish the capacity to measure feed intake on pasture at the MBFI Johnson Research Site.


November 2016

Analysis of the samples from the intital work at NDSU in Phase 1 of the project is underway

- Steers have been moved to MBFI site in Brandon and intake studies are on going.

As of spring 2016 - This project is led by U of M professor Dr. Kim Ominski in collaboration with researchers from NDSU and part of the project will take place at MBFI. The initial stages of the project have already begun at NDSU; 60 cows are being fed two different diets. After the calves of those cows are born they will be vaccinated using two different strategies: needle-syringe and needle-free.

When the calves are ready to be backgrounded (fall 2016), they will be brought to the Johnson site where their intake on pasture will be recorded. The cattle will then move on to their next location for finishing and slaughter data collection.