Minerals are often the poor relation with regard to feeding of livestock and don't always get the attention they deserve. Yet they are something that affects
all farmers and stock. The overall health status of the herd is of paramount importance for the economic production of all meat and milk. This health is affected to a greater or lesser degree by the mineral and vitamin status of the animal.
Here are a few questions for you to consider:-
- Does your present diet supply
adequate vitamins and minerals for the modern high yielding
- Do you include additional minerals
in blends fed to dairy cows?
- What are adequate vitamin and
- Does your present mineral meet
the cow's requirements?
- Do you know the effects minerals
and vitamins can have on fertility, mastitis and lameness?
- What are the levels of minerals
in your forage and what antagonistic (locking-up) effects may
Over the last few years it has become more important to feed
adequate minerals and vitamins because:-
- The increase in the use of blends
means the minerals and vitamins in concentrates cannot deliver
the cows requirement.
- Higher milk yield mean higher
mineral and vitamin requirement.
- A wider range of home-grown feeds
being used which could be short of minerals or have a detrimental
effect (e.g. selenium and copper).
- A dramatic decline in cow fertility.
- Increasing evidence of the role
of minerals and vitamins in animal health.
The above points show why many current diets maybe incorrectly balanced for minerals and vitamins.
Does this matter? Well if you look at the chart below you can see the strong links between minerals, vitamins and the major dairy cow disorders. Remember these can be caused by deficiencies, excessive amounts, imbalances and interactions between minerals.
Effects of Mineral and Vitamins on Dairy Cow Health
Lower milk yields.
||Lower milk yields.
||Udder oedema especially heifers.
|Lower milk yields.
||Growth and development.
||Linked to calcium and phosphorus.
||Linked to selenium
Feeding the correct levels of vitamins and minerals won't cure all the
dairy cows' ills but no health programme can be successful if the vitamin
and mineral status is not correct.
GP Feeds can help check your mineral requirement by forage testing
and customising minerals for individual farm requirements. We buy minerals
from all the major mineral manufactures in the UK and have the most
current information available to us.
Services we can offer include:
- Forage testing.
- Soil analysis.
- Customised minerals.
- Inclusion of protected trace elements.
- In-feed and Free Access minerals in
whatever pack size suits your requirements.
- Spiced / flavoured Free Access minerals
to encourage correct daily intakes.
- On farm advice available to discuss
your individual needs with mineral experts.
- Addition of yeasts, limestone, calcined
magnesite, sodium bicarbonate, calcium
soaps etc to give you a total feeding package and simplify your systems
- Addition of organic selenium by Selplex...
A typical mineral supplement may only cost about 3p per cow per day,
but at this price it is unlikely to meet all the requirements of the
dairy cow. Our motto is Quality Products for Quality Production
and whilst we do not want you to overspend we do want you to realise
that you only get what you pay for. Our minerals are well proven and
will enable you to maximise the health status of your herd.
Our unique Excel Dry Cow mineral fed at the correct rate will only cost 8p per cow per day (for the dry cow period this is less than £5 per cow and yet under supplementing the cow at this critical period will cost considerably more than £5 per cow in the long term!).
We have also specifically formulated two cost effective but high specification minerals for the high yielding lactating dairy cow. Please click on the products High Performance Dairy and
High Performance Dairy (Protected Trace Elements) to see all the benefits.
Your current supplement specification may not actually meet all the requirements of your herd. We can improve the effectiveness of your mineral supplement and help you achieve your targets if the following information is considered
(click here) for general enquires or (click
here) for specific dairy enquires.