Maximize Mineral Impact
Cattle nutrient requirements can vary by season and stage of production. Now is a great time to evaluate your cattle mineral programs and map out a plan to maximize impact.
While minerals are a relatively small portion of the diet, they control many vital functions in cattle and impact everything from cattle reproduction to feed efficiency and overall herd health. That's why it’s so important to make sure the mineral needs of your cattle are being met year-round.
Production stages such as gestation, lactation, calving, breeding, and weaning are especially important. During gestation and calving it is critical to have a good mineral to get cattle through that stress period. Nutritional requirements for cattle climb upward from late gestation and are at their highest during lactation. As a cow begins her lactation, her protein, energy and phosphorus requirements go up by 60-70 percent compared to the last trimester of pregnancy. These nutrients impact milk production, a cow’s ability to get bred back quickly, and ultimately result in a better calf crop. At weaning, calves need a reserve of minerals in their system as stress is often elevated and feed consumption may decrease temporarily.
Producers should be tracking mineral consumption to make sure the cattle are consuming the mineral that has been offered. Producers can encourage or discourage consumption by placing the mineral feeder near or away from water sources. The number of animals per feeder can also influence intake, as well as the amount of room for access to the feeders. As winter shifts to spring, it is the time to look at your cattle management. Make sure the cattle minerals reflect the season to help keep cattle performing. At times it can be tough getting cattle to eat mineral. You may need to try another option to get optimum intakes such as a mineral tub to encourage consumption.
Fly control should also be considered when evaluating mineral programs. Producers should start using fly control minerals 30 days before the last frost and continue through fly season.
Seasonality, fly control, breeding and using bags vs. tubs should also be discussed with your nutritionist as you are selecting your mineral. Premier offers a variety of Purina Wind and Rain minerals that are designed to optimize your herd’s performance by providing constistant targeted intakes and balanced mineral nutrition all while coming in a weather resistance form. Contact your Premier nutritionist today to book your mineral and take advantage of our current promotion.