Nutritionist Michael Cleary looks at what is important when selecting your minerals
Specialist Nutrition devised a range of minerals based on what we are seeing in the current feed and forage analysis this year.
When selecting the most suitable mineral for your feeding system, you should consider testing your forage and consulting with your nutritionist to obtain the recommended vitamin and mineral balance. Specialist Nutrition have devised a range of minerals based on what we are seeing in the current feed and forage analysis this year. While we carry a large range of minerals, the majority of farmers will require a good precalver mineral and a good beef or dairy mineral.
A good protected precalver mineral needs high levels of Vitamin A, D & E especially in high forage diets of poor quality. High Vitamin A and E with protected Selenium will assist cows with ease of calving and help avoid the issue of retained cleanings. High levels of protected copper will maximise growth, maintain cow condition and pigment and help calf development. For farmers feeding dry cows on a straw based high fibre diet, we have an appropriate mineral that works out at less than E10/head over the dry cow period.
Mineral supplementation in the dairy herd is required because it helps fertility and mobility. This is extremely important for dairy cows and with this years forage quality the basic mineral and vitamin requirements is much higher than previous year. A good mineral should include Vitamin E and Selenium that act as antioxidants to help Somatic Cell Count levels. It should also include appropriate levels of Zinc to improve hoof quality.
High levels of Vitamin A, D & E are important to maximise ruminant function which is responsible for the breakdown of high energy feeds. For forages low in phosphorus, a minimum of 2% is essential. The inclusion of high levels of Calcium will sustain and support very fast growing animals.