New tools available to monitor mineral intake

By: Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Animal Scientist

Proper mineral and vitamin nutrition contributes to strong immune systems, reproductive performance and calf or stocker cattle weight gain.  Both over and under consumption of mineral supplements can cause issues, including unnecessary expense.  Proper mineral consumption is especially critical when it contains medications such as chlortetracycline (CTC) or ionophores.  Commercial mineral mixes have a target consumption rate included in the feeding directions.

To assist in monitoring your cattle mineral intake, members of the Oklahoma State University Extension Beef Team (Dr. Chris Richards and Gant Mourer) have created two new tools. The first tool is a “Mineral consumption record” that can be downloaded and used to help producers keep track of the amount of minerals being fed in individual pastures.  The second tool is a “Mineral intake calculator”that will assist the producer in determining the amount of mineral being consumed on a per head per day basis.

These tools will allow the producer to more closely monitor the mineral intake and provide the opportunity to make adjustments if unsatisfactory consumption is taking place.  Both of these tools are available free of charge and can be downloaded from the Oklahoma State University Beefextension.comwebsite.  Go to the right side of the page and click on the appropriate item that you wish to download.  These simple-to-use tools will be extremely helpful to beef cow/calf and stocker producers.