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Beef Research and Teaching Unit

The Beef Research & Teaching Unit is a backgrounding/finishing operation with capacity to hold approximately 750 head of feeder cattle and is located within the city of Saskatoon. As well as hosting the Western Canada Feedlot Management School annually, this unit facilitates beef production teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels for both the Department of Animal and Poultry Science and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Research at the facility is conducted by members of the Sustainable Beef Systems Research Group consisting of faculty and researchers from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, College of Engineering and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

In the last number of years, research has focused on areas such as:

  • Use of ultrasound in beef cattle breeding and marketing programs

  • Role of the obese gene in fat deposition in cattle
  • Gene mapping of cattle to identify tender beef

  • Inheritance and underlying genetic mechanisms involved with specific disease states, weaning weights and carcass quality traits

  • Nutritional evaluation of ethanol and grain industry by-products

  • Minimizing stress on weaned calves

  • Alternative castration methods for bulls
  • Health and receiving programs for weaned calves

  • Use of anitbiotics in receiving programs for calves and evaluation of antibiotic residues in beef