Essential Minerals For Calves
Minerals are an essential part of a calf’s nutritional profile and help:
- Improve growth rates
- Support healthy appetites
- Reduce weaning stress
- Achieve healthier weaning weights
- Increase disease resistance...and more
Calves should have access to minerals even before weaning to prepare their bodies for the transition.
The following macro-minerals are required in larger amounts for overall calf health:
- Magnesium: Essential electrolyte, reduces scours and tetany (click to learn more about preventing grass tetany in your herd)
- Sodium: Essential electrolyte, encourages healthy water intake, reduces scours
- Potassium: Essential electrolyte, reduces scours
- Calcium: Bone development, supports healthy muscle function
- Phosphorus: Bone development, supports healthy metabolism
Micro-Minerals (Trace Minerals)
Even though micro-minerals are needed in smaller amounts, they are no less important.
- Iron: Hemoglobin formation (click to read more about how much iron cattle need)
- Selenium: Antioxidant, supports immune health (learn more about selenium and immunity)
- Manganese: Cartilage formation and bone growth
- Sulfur: Supports healthy rumen bacteria colonies
- Zinc: Immune health, hoof and skin health, enzyme formation, supports metabolism
- Copper: Immune health, formation of antibodies, white blood cells, antioxidant enzymes
How To Encourage Mineral Intake
Here are a few tips for making sure your calves enjoy access to their minerals.
Offer Palatable Mineral Salt
Mom’s milk tastes great, but heavy mineral mixes...not so much. Choosing a higher salt to mineral ratio will offer a more palatable mix that your animals will love. According to The Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), calves have not yet developed the ‘nutritional wisdom’ necessary to seek out a nutrient craving...except for sodium!
Salt is the ideal carrier for minerals because cattle (even calves) naturally regulate their salt intake. Liberate yourself from coercing reluctant calves to try their minerals, and let their instinctual cravings lead the way.
Use Loose Minerals For Calves
If you are concerned about your calves’ mineral intake, you can also switch from blocks to loose minerals. Loose minerals are easier to eat and can be spread out in larger feeders to increase access.
Calves are not really at the top of the pecking order and can sometimes get pushed out by larger herd members. Consider placing creep gates (which are large enough to allow calves to enter but too small for mature animals) around a mineral station. This solution can help ensure calves get their fair share.
Calf Minerals from Redmond
Redmond minerals has nourished and supported farms across the country for over 50 years. Our Jurassic Era mineral salts and conditioners contain over 60 trace minerals perfectly proportioned and balanced by nature. We like to call it nature’s ideal recipe for complete animal health. Farmer’s always tell us their animals just do better on Redmond Minerals (for both beef and dairy herds). Here is what one customer enjoyed about using Redmond Minerals:
“We have been using Redmond Salt and Conditioner for the past two years. We have found a noticeable difference in the health of our cattle. Our calves handle the weaning stresses much more readily without the sickness that used to plague us. In the winter the cows are more active and energetic since being supplemented with the Redmond salt and conditioner.”
-Butch and Loreen Grandy
Plus, animals find our mixes absolutely delicious, making the weaning transition a breeze for your calves and your entire cattle operation. Give Redmond Minerals a call today at to try our minerals; both you and your animals will love it!
© 2021 Redmond Minerals Inc.