Tips for Placing Mineral on Pasture
Placing minerals on pasture is an important step in helping your cattle achieve proper nutrition. Kent Mills, Range Nutritionist with Hi-Pro Feeds has been helping ranchers optimize nutrition and productivity for over 30 years.
A lot of people ask me, where they should place mineral for their optimum consumption. Well, that depends on how much they are eating. They should be eating between 2 and 4 oz of mineral supplement per day. That’s what we consider normal consumption for most mineral supplements that are on the market today.
If they are eating less than that then you’ll want to put it closer to water and lounging areas. If they are eating way too much, you want to move them away from water, as much as a ¼ mile away. What this does, is it forces them to graze out to where the mineral is. Then when they get a salty taste, or a mineral taste, in their mouth they’ll have to walk back to water to flush their mouth out and that will slow down how much they eat in a given day.
There are also two other times that you need to monitor for mineral consumption. One is in the spring when we have a flush of new growth on the pasture. It is high moisture forage, very high in protein and energy, but it is also very high in minerals. A lot of times, cattle don’t need very much mineral in that period of time.
However, when forage is green and lush they develop a salt imbalance and end up eating a lot of mineral supplement for the salt. The way we’ve learned to deal with that is to put loose salt out separately from the mineral supplement. After 3 or 4 weeks they will level out on the salt. Once the salt is taken up, the mineral supplement consumption tends to move towards the normal range again.
Another time they may not need to eat a lot of mineral is if there is a very big rain event in the summer, after there’s been a maturing and a curing of the forage. A big rain event at this time will lead to a flush growth like what happens in the spring. However, as those plants mature and become more fibrous, the mineral levels dissipate and those plants become deficient. This will cause cattle to again begin to consume very high levels of mineral.
To learn more about how Sendero Mineral products can increase your herds’ nutrition levels and productivity contact Hi-Pro Feeds to schedule your consultation. More information about our Sendero Mineral products can be found on our product pages.