In these difficult times for farming cost savings are vital to ensure we maintain some element of margin. So called peripheral items are often removed in these situations and are seen as a way of reducing costs.
Don’t forget Minerals enable the animal to make use of the nutrients provided in the ration and when lacking may inhibit normal growth and function. It is important that the mineral nutrition is balanced but that the macro elements of nutrition including energy, protein and water requirements are met as well.
Consequences of reducing, removing or imbalanced minerals can be severe but not always immediately obvious. Indeed, in some circumstances animals may be ok for up to 3-6 months but problems then appear which can take the next 12 months to resolve.
The following are some signs of trace mineral deficiency in cattle:
Poor coat colour, poor calf immunity, reduced weight gain, reduced reproductive efficiency, poor hoof growth, reduced milk production, staggers milk fever.
The chart above shows that generally UK grassland does not have sufficient minerals to support the animal’s requirements and should therefore be supplemented accordingly.
The choice is yours, but we would always recommend carrying out a mineral survey of the diet to ensure balances are correct and no deficiencies occur.