Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1995


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIV December 5, 6 and 7, 1995, Gering, Nebraska.


In a typical cow-calf operation in the Great Plains, the nutritional focus is on supplying protein and energy to the cows. That focus is appropriate since these two nutrients comprise the major portion of the annual feed cost of maintaining the cow herd. Recent concerns regarding trace mineral deficiencies has resulted in more producers now asking questions about the mineral and vitamin portion of the cow herd nutrition program.

The common sense approach to supplying minerals and vitamins to beef cows should be very similar to the one used in supplying energy and protein to the cows. In other words, determine the animals requirements and then attempt to, in the most economical and efficient manner possible, try to meet those requirements. What minerals and vitamins need to be considered? Let's examine the key ones.