Hay season is already beginning, but don't be too disctracted from simple herd nutrition management. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University emeritus Extension animal scientist, says producers should check the mineral feeders or blocks to be certain that they are supplying the minerals your cows need. In some cases, medications may have to be prescribed by your veterinarian to be included in the mineral mix, according to the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) guidelines.
Cow calf operators will want to monitor mineral consumption closely to be certain that the label-recommended amounts are being consumed by the cattle. Place mineral blocks and feeders where cattle spend a lot of time, such as in feeding areas, near waterers, or shady areas that cattle congregate.
A rule of thumb is to provide one mineral feeding station for every 30 to 50 cows. Check feeders at least once a week and keep a clean, fresh supply of minerals present at all times. Cattle owners can get receive additional help with calculating mineral intake with the OSU Mineral Calculator and OSU Mineral Consumption Record sheets. To download these aids go to http://beefextension.com/ and click on the files on the right side of the page.