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  • Horses graze on a green pasture and drink from a river.

    Of all of the minerals we work with in livestock production, selenium has the narrowest tolerance between deficiency and toxicity.  And when you add that we know very little about the actual amount of selenium in most of the forages and browse that …

  • A brown and white cow and calf look toward the camera.

    As fall approaches, many of you will be selecting your replacement females to grow and develop to be future producers.  How well you do this can be a great influence on the future profitability of your livestock operation.

    Growing and developing …

  • A small herd of white cattle gather near a wood fence.

    Zinc is still looked on as one of the more important trace minerals in livestock nutrition.  It is involved not only in development of the immune system, but also sexual maturity and reproductive capacity.  Zinc is also involved in the growth of …

  • Small herd of black angus cattle stand in grass and look toward the camera.

    Just what is ruminal protein? 

    Basically, it’s the protein produced by the microorganisms in the rumen.  They take the nitrogen and amino acids that are available to them in the rumen and use it to reproduce themselves.  As some of these …

  • A small herd of goats sit in tall grass.

    Many of you are once again having to make a decision as to how many animals your pastures can carry this winter without abusing the resource.  How to make that decision accurately sometimes takes the wisdom of Solomon. 

    However, there is a …

  • A buck walks through a wooded area in winter, the grass is frosted and there are no leaves on the trees. He looks toward the camera.

    Have you noticed the number of deer on the highway lately?  Deer grazing on the highway right of way is a sure sign of poor nutrition in the pasture.  Deer don’t like interaction with people, or their vehicles.  So when you see them out on the …

  • A doe and her fawn stand behind a high fence and look toward the camera.

    Nearly every day, I have a conversation with someone, either in person or over the phone, about feeding deer in hopes of improving the “quality” of their deer.  “Quality” in this case generally refers to an increase in body size and antler growth.   …

  • Three small, young deer lie in tall grass next to a high fence and look toward the camera

    There is a lot of discussion going on about the ethics of high fencing of deer ranges.  Many traditional ranchers view the phenomena of high fencing as blights on the land as large ranches get broken up into smaller acreage.  And from a purely …

  • Two deer walk under a feeder.

    Many of you that are serious about the wildlife part of your operation are looking for ways to improve the quality of your deer.  Quality is generally defined as larger body size and increased antler scores.  For any particular age group, these …

  • Two young deer stand next to a high fence and look toward the camera.

    Feeding deer is becoming a very popular function for many landowners whether for the pleasure of seeing the deer come to a feeder, or to improve their productivity in fawn production or antler growth.  Knowing that deer need supplemental protein in …

  • A large buck in a wooded area turns toward the camera.

    The principle of limiting factors is that performance will be constrained by the required factor that is present in the least amount.  One good analogy is a old wooden barrel with staves of different height.  The barrel can hold only as much water …

  • A dark brown doe walks through bright green foliage

    As fawning is coming to a close, it’s a good time to begin thinking about the population control measures you need to consider this year.  I’m sure that many of you will say, “I hunt – that’s my population control.”  And you’re right.

    However, when …

  • Two young bucks eat off the ground beneath a feeder while a larger buck looks to the camera.

    Whether deer need mineral supplements or not depends on what you want the deer to do.  If you are just looking for maintenance of the deer population, then they may not need mineral supplements.  However, if you are looking for improved performance, …

  • A very large buck walks through tall grass in autumn.

    With the approach of hunting season, many hunters, and deer managers, will change their feeding program from free-choice feeding of protein pellets to timed release of deer corn in order to begin to pattern the deer to make hunting easier.  For most …

  • A black cow and a white cow with an orange ear tag look toward the camera.

    One of the more overlooked minerals in ruminant nutrition is sulfur.  A key ingredient in formation of some amino acids, formation of collagen, hormones, vitamins, and oxygen carriers, sulfur makes up around 0.25% of an animal’s bodyweight. 

    As …

  • A small herd of cows walks through tall grass.

    Livestock consumption of mineral supplements is one of the most confusing aspects of ruminant nutrition.  Many producers think that their animals don’t need minerals because they don’t eat it when they put it out.  However, forage data shows that …