A “Keep-It-Simple” Method for Getting Minerals to Your Herd

From March of 2018, here's a popular article on setting up a simple mineral supplement program. I recently sat in on a roundtable discussion about using mineral supplements on ranches that are practicing managed grazing. It turned out that even though it is well known that our region suffers from some serious soil deficiencies, most of the people in the group had extremely modest mineral programs. The reasons folks gave for not using mineral supplement were all over the map, but most were what I’d call technical, rather than nutritional. Here’s a sample of what I heard: Minerals cost way too much. Moving minerals around in a grazing program is just too much work. They’re too heavy. The feeders don’t work. It rains too much here and it spoils the minerals. They’re too messy. I have goats that graze with my cattle. Minerals make the bed of my truck rust. An additional set of complaints centered on problems with the science behind mineral nutrition. Turns out, many folks don’t believe that their cows really need mineral supplementation – they’re still alive, after all—or they believe that giving injections or putting out salt blocks or applying chemical fertilizer is “good enough”.

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