Choosing the right way to deliver your cattle supplement
When it comes to selecting the right supplement for your cattle, there are two preferred methods of mineral supplements designed to provide consistent intake: loose minerals and mineral tubs.
Feeding free choice loose mineral
Feeding minerals free choice in loose form is the most commonly used method. Loose mineral works great in most cases, but may be dispersed or damaged by wind and precipitation, and can cake if it gets wet. It’s usually cheaper per head per day, and many different forms are available. Make sure that you use the correct mineral depending on the time of year and what you’re using it for. Use a covered feeder to help reduce the amount of rain and snow that gets in the feeder, and clean your feeders often.
Mineral tubs are weather resistant and often promote a more consistent intake of minerals. You can move tubs to different areas in the pasture with ease, thus enticing your cattle to graze under-utilized pasture ground. Certain tubs also contain protein, which is especially beneficial if you have lower quality forages or pasture.
Both loose mineral and mineral tubs have their place on certain farms. Every farm is different, and what works for the neighbor may not work for you. Consider the best placement of the tub or the loose mineral feeder. If possible, move the mineral or tub often as animals will often hang around areas where the mineral is offered. Be mindful to keep mineral and tubs at least 50 feet away from a water source—this will help reduce over-eating. And always offer clean drinking water.
Using the correct mineral and nutrition is vital to reproductive health and also cow/calf health. Pastures are often lacking in calcium, phosphorus, and salt, and at certain times of the year, they may be lacking other minerals, as well. Talk with your Landmark nutritionist and ask questions to help build the correct feeding program that best suits your cattle’s needs.