What Minerals and Vitamins Do Cows Need During Breeding Season?

Management : Cow & Calf

Management : Weaned Calf

Nutrition : Minerals

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Purina Animal Nutrition

What Minerals and Vitamins Do Cows Need During Breeding Season?

By Purina Animal Nutrition

Breeding season happens when cows are nutritionally stretched – using energy, minerals and vitamins to produce milk and repair the reproductive tract following calving. Mineral nutrition becomes critically important during this time period to meet cow needs for timely breeding.
The National Research Council’s Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle outlines the essential minerals needed year-round, all of which are included in Purina® Wind and Rain® minerals.
A crucial mineral for reproductive success is phosphorus since it plays a key role in metabolic functions. When phosphorus levels are appropriate, it supports optimal conception rates because the metabolism and hormone levels are maintained.
Additionally, phosphorus and calcium are necessary for skeletal growth and maintenance. Strong bones ensure your cows can make it through the breeding season and beyond by keeping them structurally sound.

Additional considerations

Mineral bioavailability: The higher a mineral’s bioavailability, the better the mineral is utilized by the cow. Ensuring zinc, manganese and copper are more bioavailable in mineral blends can help with embryo and fetal development. Purina® Wind and Rain® ProCycle® mineral contains a blend of bioavailable trace minerals, along with high concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E which optimize reproductive measurements.
Magnesium: Regionally, grass tetany can be a problem during the spring and early summer when grasses are lush. You can help reduce the incidence of grass tetany by providing additional magnesium with Purina® Wind and Rain® Hi-Mag mineral. Incorporate Hi-Mag mineral two to three weeks before cattle are exposed to lush, green growing grasses, and continue feeding 60 days after the first sign of green grass.
Area of the country: Certain geographic regions might have different mineral needs depending on varieties of forage, soil type and minerals in the water. Work with your Purina specialist to find the Purina® mineral option that will best fit your cattle’s needs.
Bulls: Don’t forget bulls in the nutrition program. The mineral provided to the cows will have the same nutrients needed to keep bulls in optimal shape for the breeding season. Before the breeding season, provide Wind and Rain® Mineral Tub with Availa® 4 for 60 to 90 days prior to turnout so bulls will be ready to perform.1  
Year-round mineral: Having cows and bulls on a year-round mineral program is an easy step to ensure mineral reserves are met before, during and after the breeding season.
Does your cattle nutrition program stack up? Find out with a Proof Pays trial.
1 Availa® 4 is a registered trademark of Zinpro Performance Minerals.