Supply of minerals: Often, the cattle lack something

A continuous and tailored supply of minerals forcattle cattle is a major factor for success in the context of animal health and performance. This means that it is generally of no importance whether the animals are in the stall all year around, or out in the field.

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Animals respond very well to the new ViraMiral Kuchen-Universal mineral lick with molasses due to its taste.Supply of minerals: Often, the cattle lack something
Animals respond very well to the new ViraMiral Kuchen-Universal mineral lick with molasses due to its taste.

The benefits of keeping in a stall all year round are obvious when considering the supply of nutrients and minerals: The corresponding balancing and mineral feed can be selected, and provided in the form of balanced partial mixed rations to the animals based on current nutrient analysis of the feedstuff used. This process presumes that every age and output group within the herd as a collective has identical requirements for nutrients and active substances. However, it is common that the requirements of individual animals for a comprehensive supply of minerals that, for example, could arise due to infections or pregnancy, are ignored.

Locations with sandy soil show a higher yield of dry matter

With pasture grazing, the provision of energy, nutrients, minerals, and active ingredients to animals strongly depends on the composition of the sward, the pasture yield or growth of dry matter, fertilisation, or also on the geographical location. For example, the Freie Universität Berlin discovered within a doctoral thesis that the growth of pasture land was between 5.9 and 12.9 tonnes of dry matter per hectare per year depending on the location. In this case locations with sandy soil yield 2.2 times more dry matter compared to locations within lowland fens. The contents of mass and trace elements were also subject to (seasonal) fluctuations in this study. Whilst the trace elements copper and manganese showed relatively constant levels during the course of the year, the daily selenium intake of grazing cows was consistently below the established requirement of 0.2 milligrams of selenium for every kilogram of dry matter. If the requirement for copper, zinc, and manganese was still covered for lactating mother cows during the first half of the year, it is particularly clear during the second half of the year and at wet locations that the requirements are not met. Daily iron absorption was conspicuously high during the grazing period, which was traced back to grazing polluted grass. This high content of absorbed iron is always problematic if the provision of trace elements to the animal is impaired and, for example, there is an appearance of a spectacle-eye effect on the animals.

VitaMiral mineral feed covers cattle's basic needs

The various factors that influence tailored provision to individual animals require practical solutions both in stables and on pasture, which can be implemented into operations without difficulty. Obligatory use of VitaMiral mineral feeds certainly covers the basic requirements of cattle regarding mass and trace elements, as well as vitamins. For grazing and for tailored coverage of additional mineral requirements in the stable, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG now offers the new VitaMiral Kuchen-Universal mineral lick with molasses, which has shown itself in practice compared with traditional mineral licks as a particularly palatable type of mineralisation. Whilst traditional products achieved rather modest results in direct comparisons, the animals found the VitaMiral Kuchen-Universal lick to be very palatable. The product takes into account the physiological and nutritional requirements of a lick provided when on pasture as well as those which apply to tailored and additional provision within stables. The product is characterised not just by its taste, but also in particular by high levels of Vitamin E and a highly available form of the trace element selenium.

For this reason, this product is very suited for herds where a deficiency in vitamins and trace elements has been established by a vet.

Information on this topic can be obtained fromVitaVis GmbH VitaVis GmbH or Dr Peter Rösmann, Tel. +49 251 682-2262,

Information: An estimated 149 million tonnes of milk was produced in the EU in 2015. The largest producer of milk in an international comparison is the European Union (EU).