I agree with Traveler. Cattle are foragers and meant to eat forage. Check your hay. Check your hay. Check your hay.
Mineral is the third most important to feed. Water, forage (hay) and mineral. Keep it simple. Buy good hay that has been
sampled so you know what you are getting. It doesn't need to be high in protein, 12% is good, feed plenty of it, but the ADF needs to be less than 40. ADF is the digestibility factor. Poorer hay will be a higher number ADF and they can't digest it as well. Good alfalfa will be higher in protein and that will help them to digest the lesser nutrition forage. Like Traveler said, use alfalfa as a supplement, cows do not need a straight alfalfa hay, but it is a wonderful supplement and cheaper than anything you can buy
from a feed store. Figure it on a protein basis and you will see for yourself. Plus the dry matter factor you get out of hay that you won't get out of lick tubs, liquid supplement, etc. Dry matter has been overlooked but it is really important. When cows don't get enough dry matter they will try to eat anything, sagebrush, tree limbs, too much mineral. If you find they eat too much mineral, give them more forage and they will back off. If they start eating too much mineral in a pasture, it's time to move them. Try to find a mineral that does not contain grain by-products. That mineral will be cheaper but it won't do as good a job, and who wants to pay mineral price for grain??
Good luck. Glad to have you here. Stick around. Lots of knowledge here.
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