by Michele Haskins, Ranch Manager
Vitamins and minerals, we have all heard about them, we know they are important, and we know we can get them from the foods we eat or supplements we take. They are equally as important for cattle. Many common herd diseases are a result of vitamin and mineral deficiencies often resulting in the greater need for antibiotic use.
Our mineral program is one of the many unique features of Genesee Valley Ranch 100% grass-fed Wagyu Beef. We utilize a free choice mineral program which allows the cattle to consume only the exact vitamins or minerals its own individual body needs at that time. This holistic approach to herd health allows our animals to naturally balance their own needs creating an overall healthier cow. When given the opportunity, an animal will only consume the minerals that its body needs without a worry of over dosing. They will naturally adjust what they consume and when they consume it based on environmental factors like weather, stress or changes in feed. There are 12 major minerals the cattle need for optimal health. Each of these minerals directly effect a major body system.
- Iodine: Metabolism Regulation
- Vitamin A: Healthy Tissue Growth
- Buffer: Combination of sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium that balances the stomach acids allowing for optimal nutrient absorption
- BVC-Mix is a B-Vitamin complex blended with bacteria, kelp, and trace minerals, and herbs for digestive aid. It also assists with Nerves and Stress.
- CALCIUM: Bone Growth and Vigor
- Copper Mix: Blend of Iron and Copper that work together to form hemoglobin in the blood
- MAGNESIUM: Bone and Blood Development
- POTASSIUM: Proper Muscle & Nerve growth and response
- PHOSPHORUS: Growth and Reproduction - Phosphorus and calcium together make up 75% of the total amount of minerals in the bodies of farm animals, 90% of the minerals in the skeleton and half of the minerals in milk.
- POTASSIUM: Proper Growth & Nerve Response Factors Affecting Vitamin A Consumption - Potassium is required by the animal body for normal nutrition and is linked with calcium and phosphorus in bone building processes
- SULFER: Protein Formation and Parasite control
- SELENIUM: Immune System Health
- Zinc: Builds a healthy immune system
When we first implemented this mineral program, the results were immediate. There was a noticeable change in their coats, their hoofs became shiny, and appetite improved as did their overall body condition. We closely monitored the minerals they consumed and noticed during winter storms our cattle were consuming mainly zinc and vitamin B, all known for immune support. During our summer months when flies and parasites are present, they consumed higher amounts of sulfur, known for its ability to control parasites. Not only do our cattle benefit from this mineral program but so do our pastures. These minerals are returned to our fields in the form of manure which breaks down and fertilizes our grass which then becomes richer in nutrients. This holistic approach ensures that we are producing clean, healthy meat for our customers in a way that benefits the animal and environment. This is just one of many reasons our 100% grass fed Wagyu beef is one of a kind.