Cattle in field

Don't neglect your mineral program

March 10, 2020 9:42 a.m.

Get your calves off to a great start by making sure mama has proper minerals.

By Lance Kennington, Ph.D., animal nutritionist, CHS

Beef cattle genetics have improved greatly in the last 50 years, but forages have changed very little, making mineral nutrition the key to unlocking that genetic potential.

“Mineral is the foundation of everything we want to do with cattle,” says Lance Kennington, animal nutritionist, CHS. “Everything from fetal and muscle development to fertility and disease resistance rely on trace minerals. What you feed a cow when she is developing that fetus will affect that calf for its entire life.” 

Forages such as grass and hay, along with water, can contain sulfates, iron and nitrates which can keep those essential trace minerals from being absorbed.

“It’s very important that you know what kind of water you are providing to your cattle so you know what to supplement,” Kennington says. 

Deficiencies of certain minerals can also cause fertility issues, decreased disease resistance and lower rate of gains, all issues that can affect your bottom line.

So what should you look for in a mineral to ensure that your beef cows are growing healthy calves, a move that will pay off for years to come?

All premium minerals contain:

  • Yeast culture
  • Copper chloride
  • Mineral oil
  • No red iron oxide
  • Nutritional level of magnesium
  • Maximum legal level of selenium
  • Chelated iodine (EDDI)
  • No bentonite or cheap carriers
  • Organically complexed trace minerals

Minerals from the Payback® feed line are carefully formulated to improve herd health, fertility and meat production. They are weatherized to prevent clumping. And our trace minerals are chelated for easy absorption. No need to worry about tie-ups in water and feed.  

Whatever forage situation you have, we have a mineral that will work for you. Talk with your CHS nutrition consultant or local feed store to find the mineral that will unlock your herd’s potential. Establishing a mineral program today can mean more money in your pocket at the sale barn.