Relationship between Health and Nutrition is Critical
by: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS
Cattlemen, researchers, veterinarians and nutritionists have known for years that the health of an animal is closely tied to the nutritional plane the animal is on. Animals living with substandard nutrient intake are commonly seen to have any number of complications to overall healthfulness, having a greater problem with resistance to disease and in fact, simply maintaining a normal, productive existence.
An area that has gained quite a bit of attention over recent years is the relationship of mineral nutrition in this picture. Feeding of minerals, while generally accepted as necessary, is probably one of the most misunderstood components of a sound cattle production system. As you go across the country and talk to producer after producer, you normally find that they will have some type of a mineral program. These programs will be very diverse and unfortunately, in many cases, completely unsuitable for a specific cattle operation. And, in many cases, this may be true regarding any component of their nutritional program. In general, however, it seems most common in regard to mineral supplementation. It is vitally important for cattlemen, whether they are commercial or purebred producers, stocker cattle operators or feedyard managers to develop and adopt a sound mineral program in order to be productive and profitable. To help develop a sound program for your area contact a nutritionist specializing in beef cattle, either independent or one affiliated with a feed or mineral company. You can also talk to your veterinarian or local extension agent who should be able to give you some guidelines.