Besides running a cattle herd, many enterprises will have land in crop production as well, with the larger cattle ranches having upwards of 500 head of livestock, as well as capacity for producing winter feed.
Most of the operations are cow calf/suckler units, with the calves weaned at around 8 months of age and then sold onto the commercial feed lots (10,000+ head) in Western Canada or the US.
Suckler cows and calves will graze out on pasture from mid-May onwards until weaning in early October with the cows returning to pasture until snowfall. During winter months, the cattle can be fed and wintered out in the bush, or be kept in high sided corrals with maybe the facility of an open fronted shelter. For mid-winter calving, the cow and calf will remain inside for some 24 to 48 hours then go back outside into a well-strawed corral/yard with maybe an open fronted shelter in case of a storm. Our cold and dry winter conditions are far more healthy for livestock than the damp and wet of the western European climate.
Pasture for summer grazing on Government land is sometimes available at around $90.00 per cow/calf pair, a little less on private land. To establish a feeder enterprise, there are some financially aided schemes available to start up such an operation, with little initial capital outlay require by the farmer.