Minerals Matter | Impact on cow reproduction

Trace mineral supplementation not only increases reproduction efficiency, if supplied during gestation, it is showing results of heavier animals at weaning.

The female is the factory on the ranch. She is responsible for raising a calf year after year, but this is not possible if she isn’t in proper nutritional health. “The impact of mineral supplementation is as or even more substantial than energy and protein for proper reproductive health,” says Reinaldo Cooke, Texas A&M Beef Cattle Production Specialist. “Minerals have a huge impact on reproduction.”

A lot of focus is put on making sure cows have the energy and protein requirements to fuel their systems. But this often overlooks other essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. A lack there can defeat the ability to strive for reproduction goals.

Lacking the required minerals in the diet can become a limiter in the effectiveness of the normal functioning of nearly all processes in the cow’s body. Mineral management is complex. “Each mineral is critical to the metabolic system of the animal and each mineral has its own importance, but each one also has its connection in working with other minerals,” Cooke told cattlemen during NCBA’s producer education webinar series focusing on mineral nutrition strategies.

“Many beef cattle systems rely on forages to provide nutrients, but the forages may not always be nutritionally complete.” Therefore, mineral supplementation programs need to be designed with these three factors in mind: the animal category, the stage of production, and the basal diet (the forage).

Cooke explains requirements are established for macro-minerals and micro-minerals (trace minerals) as a starting point for beef cattle producers to follow. But many times, the microscope is not focused on minerals until something bad happens on the ranch.

“Minerals are the largest pound per pound expense in nutritional management and have a critical importance to reproduction. They are often the root cause of wrecks like open cows, embryonic death, delayed puberty, and reduced fertility,” explains Cooke. He reminds producers, if the cow is sick or dead  ̶  it won’t breed.

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Via source, BEEF | Minerals Matter | Impact on cow reproduction

For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please email ansccommunications@tamu.edu or call (979) 845-1542.

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