Benefits of Feeding Minerals to Beef Cattle in the Fall
Are your cattle ready for fall? Even if you have taken the time to store hay and silage for the coming months when grass is sparse, you still have more preparations to make. As the temperatures start to dip, it's time to reevaluate your fall cattle mineral requirements.
Minerals play an important role in growth, reproduction and regular maintenance of cattle health. However mineral requirements for your herd will vary based on herd type (stocker, fall versus spring calving, etc.). Depending on your herd, fall may require you to pay special attention to magnesium, ionophores and breeding minerals.
"With rapid regrowth of cool season forage, magnesium levels should become a focus," suggests Mike Peacock, Southern States Livestock Feed Sales Manager. Magnesium supplementation will help cattle avoid getting grass tetany as the cool season regrowth has the potential for high potassium and low magnesium levels. As too much potassium will block magnesium absorption levels adding a supplement like Mag-o-Min or Hi Mag can do the trick to keep grass tetany worries at bay. "Generally a mineral with 10% magnesium content will carry the cattle through winter and get them through grass tetany season," says Harry Walker, Feed Sales and Technical Representative.
Planning to keep this year's spring calf crop over the winter to sell in the spring? If so, you should consider adding an ionophore, such as Bovatec® or Rumensin®, to your ration. Rumensin (Cattle Ru-Min 1200 Medicated) and Bovatec (Bov-A-Min Extra Mineral Medicated) are both designed to promote growth and improve feed efficiency by 5-7%. Not only will these ionophores improve your rates of gain, they will also help protect your herd from ailments such as coccidiosis, acidosis and bloat.
Fall calving herds should have a beef breeder mineral as part of their daily feed ration. Our Southern States® Cattleman's Pride Weathershed Beef Breeder OTM contains organic trace minerals (selenium, zinc, manganese and copper) which aid in immune response, colostrum quality and breeding success. Feeding the breeder mineral to pregnant cows before calving season starts also ensures that both the cow and calf have optimum mineral status to get through all of the stress associated with calving.
Want some advice on what minerals would work well for your herd this fall? At Southern States we know each operation has its own unique needs. Stop into one of our stores today to contact>your local Feed Specialist directly and we can help customize a mineral program for your herd.