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Beef Cattle Mineral Supplementation


Would you like to improve the growth, health and reproductive performance of your beef cattle herd? It takes less than a dime per head per day for your cattle to create a mineral program that does all this and more. The cost of a high quality mineral and vitamin supplement program is a relatively small investment compared to the annual production returns that your cattle can bring.

Cattle Minerals Make The Difference

As minerals make up a small portion of the dry matter consumed by beef cattle on a daily basis, they can often be a forgotten component of a nutrition program. However, although a small part, minerals can have a significant impact on how well your herd thrives. "Mineral supplementation improves herd performance and producer profitability by filling in the nutrition gaps in the forage the cattle are consuming, usually by hay or pasture," says Southern States Feed Sales and Technical Representative Harry Walker. "Proper mineral supplementation not only helps support the animal's immune system, but also strengthens bones and improves overall health."

Southern States has minerals to meet your supplementation needs. When it comes to selecting the appropriate mineral for your herd it's important to look at a number of factors:

  • What time of year is it? (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall)
  • What is your herd made up of? (Stockers, Brood Cows, Bulls, Etc.)
  • What forage type do you feed? (Corn silage, Alfalfa/Clover Hay or Pasture, Fescue Hay/Pasture)

Challenges Facing Beef Cattle Per Season

Whether a stocker or breeding herd, all herds must deal with seasonal issues. While Spring brings pasture growth, it also brings with it grass tetany season as beef cattle begin to graze on early grass growth that may be high in potassium and low in magnesium. This excess potassium can interfere with magnesium absorption resulting in tetany. Tetany can lead to cows staggering, involuntary muscle contractions, convulsions and even death. To avoid potential magnesium deficit issues we suggest feeding Mag-O-Min or other High Mag Mineral products prior to and during tetany season.

Once tetany season is over, the next challenge Southern States products can help address is insect control, specifically Horn flies. Cattleman's Pride Fly Stop Hi-Mag Mineral should be your go to mineral. Fly Stop contains Altosid IGR (Insect Growth Regulator). IGRs are a feed through supplement that work by preventing the fly larvae from ever becoming adult flies. When horn flies lay their eggs in the cow's manure the Altosid IGR stops fly development.

Your mineral program will also be determined by whether your operation has a Spring or Fall calving season. Regardless of which season you choose, we suggest you feed the Cattleman's Pride Weathershed® Beef Breeder Mineral with Availa-4. The Zinpro Availa-4 trace minerals (Copper, Zinc, Cobalt, and Manganese) are much more available to the animal than minerals from ordinary sources. These trace minerals are very important to reproductive performance. The better your reproductive performance is, the shorter your calving seasons will be enabling more uniform calves in your herd. This calf uniformity should bring more profit to you the producer.

Additional Resources

Not sure what would work best for your herd? Don't worry, that's what your local Southern States is for! Your local Southern States feed representative or dealer can point you in the right direction for the right mineral for your needs, stop in and we'll be happy to help!

Contact one of our livestock specialists or contact your local store for

  • forage sampling
  • recommendations on vaccines and animal health products
  • help developing an overall nutrition program for your cattle herd

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