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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Beef Management Tips

Livestock Update, March 2003

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

March Beef Management Calendar

Spring Calving Herds

Fall Calving Herds

Mineral Supplements Need to be Adjusted When Feeding By-Products
Many producers are feeding substantial amounts of by-products such as corn gluten feed, soyhulls and wheat mids to offset short hay supplies. These grain by-products are high in phosphorus. In general, hay-based diets are low in phosphorus, so normally phosphorus is included in the mineral supplement. However, when grain by-products are fed, cattle will receive enough phosphorus from these products. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus in cattle diets should be 1:1 to 2:1. Since the grain by-products provide the phosphorus, calcium and magnesium are the major minerals that need to be supplemented.

Mineral supplements fed along with grain by-products should contain 10-12 % calcium, 12-14% magnesium, and trace mineral salt. An easy home mineral mix is 1/3 ground limestone, 1/3 magnesium oxide, and 1/3 high selenium trace mineral salt. Many commercial mineral mixes that are low in phosphorus will also meet the animal's mineral needs.

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