See facts about mineral supplementation when it comes to Florida beef cattle from UF/IFAS.

Supplementing minerals is an important consideration for the health and productivity of a cattle herd. A South Florida Beef-Forage Program article shares facts about mineral supplementation for Florida beef producers. See the details below.

Mineral Supplementation for Beef Cattle

UF Animal Science Chair, Dr. John Arthington said in the article, “the minerals that are most commonly found to be deficient in Florida forages include copper, zinc, selenium, cobalt, and sometimes phosphorus. If left unaddressed, deficiencies in these minerals can result in decreased growth of calves, decreased pregnancy rates, and an increase in health-related problems. Mineral deficiency of forage is most often addressed by providing the cowherd free-choice access to a salt-based mineral supplement.”

Facts about mineral supplementation shared in the article include:

  1. “Minerals must be provided year-round.”
  2. “Cattle only have the nutritional wisdom to seek salt.” This, combining minerals with salt is a good option.
  3. “Read the label/tag on the bag of mineral you purchase.”
  4. “Cattle may consume more than 3-4 oz for a few reasons.”
  5. “Cattle may consume less than 3-4 oz for a few reasons.”
  6. “Provide one mineral feeder for every 20 – 30 cows.”
  7. “Monitor mineral boxes weekly.”
  8. “If you supplement cattle with cubes, fortified molasses, mixed feeds, or protein blocks during the winter consider that most commercially formulated products meet the animals’ mineral requirements and won’t need free-choice minerals while consuming the suggested quantities of those supplements.”
  9. “Consider liver biopsies to analyze your herd for deficiencies and adjust your mineral ration.”

See the article here for further details.

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