Feed Lot

JUN 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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FEED•LOT June 2018 21 consider the bioavailability of the trace minerals in your program. Tips for evaluating your mineral program: • Calculate current mineral in- take of animals to see if intake matches up to the instructions on the feed tag. Make sure your cattle are consuming the recommended amounts. • Test forages, feeds, and water for mineral content, this is a cheap and easy starting point. If there are unresolved deficiencies talk to your vet about testing the animals for trace mineral status. • Understand what types of trace minerals (oxides, sulfates, chelates, hydroxys) are in your current prod- ucts and what the bioavailability of those minerals are. • Work with a nutritionist to develop a mineral program that is right for you and your herd. There's no single solution for every operation. FL in the rumen, hindering absorp- tion. Look for chelated or hydroxy sources when choosing a trace min- eral supplement to ensure optimal bioavailability. Zinc is critical to the function of the immune system, enzyme systems, and hoof health. Under stressful conditions, cattle that are deficient in Zn may have greater in- cidence of illness, lower responses to treatments, and longer recovery times compared to cattle with ade- quate Zn status. Like Cu, absorption of Zn can be negatively impacted by high levels of Fe. Only 6% of pas- tures evaluated were found to be deficient in Zn. However, research has indicated that even when calves are born with adequate Zn status, they may approach marginal to de- ficient Zn levels by weaning, due to rapid body growth and low Zn con- centrations of milk. This can have major implications when it comes to the effectiveness of vaccines, health, and productivity of calves as they enter backgrounding yards or feedlots. Manganese (Mn) has a direct relationship with fertility, and de- ficiencies of this trace mineral can result in poor conception rates and a prolonged calving interval. Pregnant and lactating cows have a greater requirement for Mn com- pared to growing cattle, and 22% of the pastures tested were deficient in Mn (< 40 ppm). The information reinforces the need for macro and trace mineral supplementation for growing cattle and mature cows grazing managed pastures, cereal grains, and hay- fields. Marginal deficiencies can reduce growth, reproduction, and impact health, even if cattle show few clinical signs of deficiency. Finally, other minerals may be present at high enough levels to negatively impact absorption of Cu and Zn, therefore it is important

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