Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2011
Publication Date: January 28, 2012
Citation: Muscha, J.M., Mulliniks, J.T., Roberts, A.J., Waterman, R.C., Paterson, J.A., Petersen, M.K. 2012. Variability in range cow mineral use is associated with season and daily high temperature in Northern Great Plains. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstract #0261. Technical Abstract: Accurate assessment of mineral nutrition in range cattle is complicated by seasonal changes in diet mineral concentrations, shifting requirements and a lack of knowledge of seasonal mineral intake variability. This study was designed to evaluate variation in herd mineral intake, and individual cow mineral tub use due to influences of season and daily high temperature. Motion activated cameras were used to record ear tags of 80 mixed-age native English cross-bred cows as their heads approached the open range mineral tub (containing 34% salt, 57% minerals and 9% distillers grains) for one week each month from August 2010 to July 2011. The percent of cows at mineral tub each day differed (P<0.01) by season. In late growing season (July-October), 48±3.9% of herd visited the tub daily compared to 31±3.4% in fall and winter dormancy (November-March) and 27±4.1% during spring growth (April-June). There was a positive (P<0.01, r=0.28) relationship between daily high temperature and frequency at tub. Rate of mineral supplied to cows had poor agreement with cows’ seasonal appearance at the tub. Average consumption was greatest (P<0.01) during forage dormancy and spring growth (53 g hd-1 d-1) and lowest during late growing season (38 g hd-1 d-1). There was a negative (P<0.05, r=-0.21) relationship between daily high temperature and quantity of mineral supplied. During the late growing season cow activity at a mineral tub should not be linked to high rates of consumption and mineral composition may need to be more concentrated or animal acceptability enhanced to approach mineral intake goals.