Information on cattle feed, supplements, and minerals

Posted by vivek choudhary on January 8th, 2021

Cattle feed supplements and minerals are among the most important tools in your beef ranching toolbox. 

A pinch of salt, cobalt, copper, zinc, or selenium, or a little extra boost of protein or energy can trigger huge improvements in your herd's health, conception rates, and weight gains. You can even use cattle supplements to extend the length of your grazing season!

So don't make the mistake of thinking that your cattle's mineral and supplement needs are met simply by tossing a salt block into your pastures.

Take the time to design a custom mineral and supplement program - it could be the most profitable farming decision you make this year. In this article, I'm going to show you how to get started.

Using cattle supplements to fill the gaps

Just because the grass is green and growing doesn't mean it always has the same amount of minerals, vitamins, or trace minerals in cattle feed. These levels change, often quite drastically, from month to month.

And the protein and energy content of the grass is just as variable. Temperature, rainfall, grass maturity, and soil fertility are just a few of the factors that affect the grass's protein and energy content during the growing season. And the grass reserves you rely on during the dry season or winter are even more variable, depending on the grass's maturity and quality as it goes dormant, temperature, rainfall, and how resistant the grass is to nutrient leaching.

Optimizing Cattle Nutrition

It's not just the grass quality that is constantly changing. Your cows' nutritional needs are also not constant. They change from month to month as your cattle reach different stages of pregnancy or lactation, before and after weaning, and during different stages of their growth from birth to adulthood.

As per the cattle feed manufacturers in India, given all these constantly changing variables, it's hardly surprising that your cattle's needs don't always match up with what's available from the grass. Optimal nutrition means making up for the differences with cattle supplements.

Fixing a mineral deficiency could dramatically boost weight gains or improve cattle health. A little extra protein or energy at the right time could translate into much higher weaning weights. And your herd's conception rates could get a significant boost simply by providing supplements at key times to manage the body fat reserves of your breeding stock, so they never get too thin and have optimal body fat levels at calving time.

Using Supplements to Extend the Length of your Grazing Season

Grass doesn't suddenly become inedible the moment the growing season ends. Quality slowly erodes, bit by bit, until it no longer provides everything that cattle feed suppliers to stay healthy and maintain body fat levels within safe limits. Most farmers opt to switch to hay or silage when the grass reaches that point. But they are missing out on a huge opportunity to significantly extend their grazing season without spending a lot of extra money.

A little bit of extra protein or energy or a few extra minerals provided along with the day's pasture slice may be all that's needed to keep your cattle grazing on cheap stockpiled winter pastures while the neighbors' cows are already plowing through mountains of expensive hay and silage.

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vivek choudhary

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vivek choudhary
Joined: May 13th, 2019
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