Ask the Expert Ruminants > Seasonal Mineral Considerations

Seasonal Mineral Considerations

Feb 04, 2021

Tara Ellerman
Countryside Feed Sales & Nutrition Professional
 
Supplying cows with the right balance of minerals is essential if you’re looking to achieve a yearly calving interval, and the good news is that it doesn’t cost an arm or a leg. For a relatively small investment of around $42/head a year or less, a high-quality mineral nutrition program can enable an animal to perform better and utilize feed more efficiently, resulting in:
  • Supported skeletal growth and maintenance
  • Improved lactation
  • Increased energy production and utilization
  • Enhanced basic bodily functions
 
Calcium, phosphorus and salt are usually the first limiting minerals in cow/calf diets. But since most minerals are stored in the body in small amounts, it’s important for cows to consistently take in a balanced mineral supplement, rather than high amounts of certain minerals and inadequate amounts of others.
 
Due to changes in production stage, forage quality and environmental conditions, we recommend selecting mineral supplements on a seasonal basis. This is a great way to address the changing needs of your animals! Plus, another benefit of feeding minerals to your cow/calf herd is that you can use it as a carrier to provide your herd with a number of important seasonal additives.
 
Here are just a few seasonal recommendations to consider in your mineral program:
 
Winter
  • Rumensin® Minerals: Rumensin® helps boost efficiency when your animals are eating lower quality forages and dormant grasses, reducing their feed requirements 5 to 10 percent while maintaining body weight with no negative impacts on reproductive performance. Rumensin also improves average daily gain in replacement heifers. This results in fewer days to first estrus, which can lead to improved lifetime productivity.
  • Availa® Minerals: Spring calving herds can benefit from higher availability minerals during calving season through rebreeding! Led by products like Availa® 4 and Availa® Plus, Zinpro Corporation offers a dozen different products in its Availa-Mins line. These are some of the best performance minerals made for the cattle market, because each are manufactured with a patented “amino acid extraction process” that breaks down a pure source of protein into free amino acids. The free amino acids are then complexed to the trace mineral. The result is the most soluble, stable, absorbable and metabolically available trace minerals on the market, which provides with a strong return on investment.These minerals are a great addition to a mineral program 45 to 60 before and after breeding season.
Spring
  • Hi Mag Mineral: Magnesium deficiency can be a problem in early spring, especially in mature lactating cows. Lush, green, growing grass is full of vitamins and minerals, but many of them tie up magnesium. Providing a Hi Mag mineral like Beef Builder® 6% Green Pastures Hi Mag or Purina® RangeLand® Pro Mineral 6 Hi Mag can help prevent grass tetany.
  • Fly Control: To get ahead on fly control in your herd, start feeding feed-through fly control 30 days before grass green up. Countryside Feed carries industry-leading ClariFly® Larvicide.
  • Availa® Minerals: Spring calving herds can benefit from including these mineral forms in a breeder mineral. Increasing availability of minerals helps with conception rates.
 
Summer
  • Fly Control: Continue to prevent flies from hatching in manure by including a feed-through larvacide.
  • CTC: You can prevent and treat Anaplasmosis – an infectious blood disease in cattle involving severe anemia – by including chlortetracycline (CTC), a feed-grade antimicrobial.
  • Fescue Minerals: Did you know that fescue toxicity is the costliest grass-related disease in the United States? Fortunately you can protect cattle grazing fescue pasture from endophytes by feeding a mineral designed for fescue pasture, like Purina® RangeLand® Pro Fescue 8 Mineral.
 
Fall
  • Fly Control: Keep feeding feed-through fly control until 30 days after the first hard frost.
  • CTC: Anaplasmosis transmission continues to be a problem in the fall, when insect vectors are more prevalent.
  • Availa® Minerals: Just like with spring calving, fall calving herds can benefit from higher availability minerals during calving season through rebreeding.
 
Between Purina Rangeland® Pro minerals, Beef Builder® minerals and a number of high quality additives, Countryside Feed is fully equipped to develop a year-round mineral program customized to your operation. Reach out to your local Countryside Feed nutritionist for assistance in selecting the best mineral products for your herd. They’ll help ensure you provide the right boost for your operation, exactly when it’s needed.
 


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