Minerals. Are they needed?

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kickinbull
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Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby kickinbull » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:29 am

How did bison get needed minerals when they roamed the plains? When settlers brought domestic livestock with them,where did they get minerals. Possibly soil was not depleted? So at what point after years of mineralization to soil and livestock can we quit? I read a survey of new zeeland dairyman that the majority only puts out minerals from prior to calving to just past breeding. Your thoughts?

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Bright Raven
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:37 am

kickinbull wrote:How did bison get needed minerals when they roamed the plains? When settlers brought domestic livestock with them,where did they get minerals. Possibly soil was not depleted? So at what point after years of mineralization to soil and livestock can we quit? I read a survey of new zeeland dairyman that the majority only puts out minerals from prior to calving to just past breeding. Your thoughts?



On the Bison. Lick is the most common word in a place name here. The bison went to "licks" to get there minerals.

Near me:
Mays lick
Grants lick
Salt lick
Big Bone lick
Blue Lick State Park
There are 100s
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby M-5 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:41 am

How many people were being fed back then ? did they need the animals to produce maximum yields ?? NO. I only know that todays farmers are required to produce more with the same infrastructure, so a good mineral program is vital to a healthy herd , It would seem to reason that the early inhabitants only used what was available at that time.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby callmefence » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:00 am

As the trend towards grazing smaller pasture of improved pure strains of grass increases, so does the need for better mineral. The cattle eat exactly the same thing every day. So there is bound to be things lacking.

Buffalo are cattle ranging on open diverse ground have a very diverse diet. So less need for mineral. It's just not very efficient unless you have 5000 acres laying around to feed 100 head
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby M.Magis » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:15 am

I don’t think anyone ever said cattle need mineral to survive. Plenty of cattle out there that have never seen a bit of mineral. But for all it costs, there’s no reason to not ensure your cows have what they need to be the most productive on the ground you have. If a bison cow didn’t have a calf each year, it didn’t matter. It was survival of the fittest. I need my cows to produce or I can’t afford to keep them.

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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby mhouse7 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:30 am

I live in east/central TX and minerals are vital to our operation. The main problem is that the molybdenum levels of central texas soil are so high that they bind copper into an unusable compound, so we have to feed a mineral with chelated trace minerals to keep our cattle from being copper deficient. If you live in a place where soil is perfect and there are abundant minerals, then you may not need to supplement minerals. But minerals are needed for the animals to survive
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Rafter S » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:42 am

No, minerals aren't needed....unless you want to make money with your cattle.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Nesikep » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:47 pm

mhouse7, it's the same here (10 miles away there's "Molybdenite creek") and we're low in copper to begin with, as well as selenium and phosphorus.

Yeah, it's been said already, but minerals aren't typically a "survival necessity", but they are for reliable production..

That said, you need the RIGHT minerals for your area. I had a lot of trouble with a few of my best cows, so I researched it extensively and compiled a list of symptoms, etc for all of them..
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=73928&hilit=mineral+deficiency+nesikep
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:50 pm

There are producers in my area and Kentucky in general who only put out the "Brown salt blocks" thinking that supplies the mineral needs when it is basically 99 % NaCl.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby JW IN VA » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:22 pm

Many years ago there were fewer cattle per acre than now.My grandfather ran a flock of 75 ewes here until the 1930s when we could no longer get access to USFS land for summer grazing.Sheep were gone for probably five months.Another thing may be related to the faster growing,hevier yielding forage crops we have.An old vet(Dr A V Bartenslager) opined once that he old meadow hay took all summer to grow and thus had more time to absorb some more trace elements from the soil.
I've heard of cows chewing on old bones and debarking trees in search of mineral.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby SteppedInIt » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:36 pm

callmefence wrote:As the trend towards grazing smaller pasture of improved pure strains of grass increases, so does the need for better mineral. The cattle eat exactly the same thing every day. So there is bound to be things lacking.

Buffalo are cattle ranging on open diverse ground have a very diverse diet. So less need for mineral. It's just not very efficient unless you have 5000 acres laying around to feed 100 head
that's it in a nutshell. Free ranging animals vs confined
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Banjo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:46 pm

Buffalo have had thousands of years of selective breeding. You and I could selectively breed our cattle to where they don't need anything and were tough as nails. If we didn't go broke in the selection process of the survival of the fittest, then we just wouldn't live long enough to see it happen. However, we can select for on a smaller scale....good doers, easy keepers, etc.

That's my opinion.....feel free to make it yours.

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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby farmerjan » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:16 pm

Think also that bison did not eat the same plant, roamed over thousands of acres where there were different soil conditions, different soil types, would browse and graze, ate woody stemmed plants and the sweetest optimal growth plants. And they rotational grazed some areas only once in a year. Add in all the "LICKS" as several other posters mentioned, and who knew how often some of them calved....
We have to have the production or we can't stay in business; so the need for "perfectly balanced" minerals to feed all the parts of a cow for 100 % reproductive response.

JW ... Dr. Bartenslager had some of the best guernsey cattle at one time too.

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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby kickinbull » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:19 pm

farmerjan wrote:Think also that bison did not eat the same plant, roamed over thousands of acres where there were different soil conditions, different soil types, would browse and graze, ate woody stemmed plants and the sweetest optimal growth plants. And they rotational grazed some areas only once in a year. Add in all the "LICKS" as several other posters mentioned, and who knew how often some of them calved....
We have to have the production or we can't stay in business; so the need for "perfectly balanced" minerals to feed all the parts of a cow for 100 % reproductive response.

JW ... Dr. Bartenslager had some of the best guernsey cattle at one time too.

Can you reference anything about Dr. Bartenslagers work with guernseys?

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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby angus9259 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:10 pm

I have not proven to myself minerals are of any value. Cattle seemed healthy with them - they seemed healthy without. They have issues with them, they have issues without.

I put them out because smart people tell me I should but I have no proof they are right.


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