January Cattle Update: Minerals-What's the Big Deal?

Cow Mineral – What’s the big deal?

Katia Sytsma

Ideally, a cow is never eating for herself. Throughout the year a cow is either pregnant, nursing a growing calf, or is pregnant and nursing a growing calf. Cow health throughout gestation and lactation has major impacts on calf growth and development (Click the link to learn more about how a cow’s nutrition affects calf growth and development: Fetal Programming 101 ) . One very important, and sometimes overlooked, aspect of cow health is their mineral intake. Cows require a certain mineral intake each day for their bodies to function properly. By providing cows with a consistent source of readily available mineral we ensure that they receive the proper nutrition to not only maintain their own health, but also grow a strong, healthy calf.

Purina Wind and Rain Mineral is a great way to efficiently meet your herd’s mineral needs. Years of proven research and real-life trials have led to a product that both you and your herd will love. This product is designed to have multiple capabilities that make a difference.

Palatability – Mineral is useless if a cow won’t eat it due to taste. The goal is consistent intake without overconsumption.

Weatherability – Mineral becomes hard to eat when it becomes clumpy or damaged due to inclement weather. Large particle size and a weather resistant formula makes Wind and Rain Mineral a perfect match for spring storms, summer heat, and winter blizzards.

Bioavailability – A good cattle mineral must provide a cow with her daily mineral requirements in a form that can be easily absorbed in the gut.

By feeding a mineral that places importance on palatability, weatherability, and bioavailability you can rest assured that your herd will consume mineral at a consistent rate -typically 4 ounces per head per day. Based on over 1,500 research trials, this will ensure that you will get your money’s worth with every lick.

Purina Wind and Rain mineral comes in both bags and tubs. Unsure of which to use on your operation? Here’s some tips to help you decide:

  • Mineral bags are easier to move, weighing in at 50lbs compared to the average 225lb tub.
    • As they are much lighter, mineral bags tend to be more convenient and flexible for smaller herds.
  • Purina mineral tub’s ClearView packaging allows you to see how much cattle mineral is left from a distance, reducing time spent entering the pasture or yard to check feeders.
    • Tubs are a great option for herds with 50+ head. Each tub feeds 25 cows for roughly a month. This can save time refilling feeders.
  • Mineral bags are slightly easier to add additives to. Some additives, such aschlortetracycline, require a VFD and can only be hand-fed daily – making a bag the best option. BUT, products such as Availa 4 trace minerals or Altosid fly control can be fed in either form!
  • Both bags and tubs are excellent at standing up to Midwest weather thanks to Purina’s weatherability technology.
  • Both bags and tubs have very similar intake consistency, though tubs are the most consistent intake product.

There are pros and cons to both forms of mineral. In the end, the final decision is up to your herd and personal preference. No matter which you choose, you can be sure that you’ll receive the same high- quality cattle nutrition every time.

Spring Mineral Booking at Farmer’s Coop Society

Order dates January 15 – May 3rd

A great opportunity to order mineral in bulk for a discounted price!

Some available options include:

  • Wind and Rain Mineral with Availa 4
    • Weatherized Wind and Rain Mineral utilizing the full recommended rate of Zinpro’s Availa 4 minerals. Providing a more bioavailable form of mineral to cattle which leads to better results.
  • Wind and Rain ProCycle Mineral
    • Weatherized Wind and Rain Mineral utilizing the full recommended rate of Propath 4 to maximize absorption potential. Designed for high performance. A great fit for seedstock, club calf and commercial cow operations, and programs using artificial insemination or embryo transfer.
  • Wind and Rain Mineral with Clarifly or Altosid
    • Wind and Rain mineral with fly control. This technology disrupts the reproductive cycle of flies, helping to control fly populations in your herd.

If you have more questions about cattle minerals or nutrition, or would like to place an order, feel free to reach out to your local FCS cattle consultants; Katia Sytsma (712) 578-2616 or Al Clough (515) 570-6038.

We would love to work with you to create the best nutrition plan for your herd.