Minerals are an essential part of any beef cow nutrition program. Minerals play a vital role in almost all metabolic functions including forage digestion, reproductive performance, the immune system and skeletal growth and development. Inadequate intake of minerals and vitamins during certain critical times of the year can result in reduced forage intake, poor reproductive performance, and reduced calf growth. A lack of minerals can also impair immune function resulting in vaccine failure and lowered resistance to disease. One of the challenges facing cattle producers is that the symptoms associated with poor mineral intake, or mineral deficiencies are not easily seen or measured until the problem becomes severe enough to cause disease or even death.
Providing a complete, balanced mineral as a part of your cow’s total nutrition program is an easy, cost effective way to prevent deficiencies from occurring and to maintain herd health and performance throughout the year. Below is a list of performance benefits that have been associated with proper mineral nutrition in the cow herd. Putting a dollar value on several of those benefits clearly shows that it does not take a large improvement in performance to pay for the cost of the mineral.
BENEFITS TO THE COW
- Higher conception rates & calving %.
A 2% improvement pays for 80% of the mineral cost for entire herd
- Cows breed quicker for shorter calving period.
- Fewer calving problems.
- Cows maintain body condition through season.
- Cows produce more milk & wean heavier calves.
20 lbs. added weaning wt. pays for 100% of the mineral for entire herd
BENEFITS TO THE CALF
- Stronger & healthier calves at birth.
- Better quality Colostrum/Passive Immunity.
- Calves are older, more uniform in age and weight.
$0.07/lb. increase pays for 100% of mineral for the entire herd
- Calves perform better post-weaning.
THE BOTTOM LINE: It does not cost to feed mineral to your cow herd;IT PAYS!