How to Choose the Best Mineral for Stocker Cattle on Pasture

When it comes to backgrounding your cattle and keeping them healthy, there are a lot of choices that exist. All of the options might make your head spin, but look no further than the Gain Smart® line to produce healthy, efficient pounds.  

Gain Smart is a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for beef cattle with the Amaferm® advantage that promotes economically produced pounds by maximizing the natural energy and protein available in forage. Amaferm is a precision-based prebiotic that impacts intake, feed digestibility and nutrient absorption for optimum gain. It is research-proven to promote calf health and vigor and stimulate digestion and nutrient absorption of forage for optimum gain. 

Within the Gain Smart line there are options for various management scenarios, but we have broken it down so you can select the best mineral for your feeding situation. 

Cattle on Native Grasses 

Gain Smart Stocker is the mineral supplement you’ll want to choose when grazing native grasses. This free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for stocker cattle is designed to balance basic nutrient needs for maximized efficient gain on grass pasture. Gain Smart Stocker contains organic copper and zinc plus added iodine for maximum bioavailability to the animal to support hoof health and immunity. 

The Gain Smart Stocker helps calves get the most from their forage situation and convert those available nutrients to pounds. Research shows that most cattle will gain an additional 0.25 to 0.30 pounds per day while getting Amaferm in their diet. 

“I’ve run enough tests with minerals that I can tell you if you use the Gain Smart mineral, you’re going to out gain and outperform any mineral out there. I generally have seen anywhere from one-third to one-half pound more gain per day on my calves. That’s the only way you can make money on cattle is grow cattle and get a return on your money. The best way to do that is get weight on them as quick as you can. Gain Smart is money well spent,” said Dakota Dalyrmple with 3D Cattle Company in Alabama. 

Cattle on Fescue 

Fescue can raise its own challenges and so can the extremely hot temperatures. For those situations, the Gain Smart Stocker HEAT® exists. This formula was designed to be used when grazing during extremely hot temperatures – anytime it is consistently 70 degrees and hotter – or on fescue to help alleviate stress.  

In addition to the Amaferm, also research-proven to help maintain body temperature, and the organic copper and zinc, this formula also contains capsaicin, also research-proven to support the animals’ ability to maintain normal body temperature and includes garlic to deter insects. 

Cattle that are more comfortable will simply be out grazing more, and the more they graze, the more they gain. Tom Carter from North Carolina agrees.

“I believe in minerals. I believe the most problems you have with cattle is with mineral deficiency. I saw the Gain Smart Program on The American Rancher one night, and I thought I could use that. Since I started feeding Gain Smart, I’ve had less than 1% death loss. I have virtually no foot rot or pinkeye problems at all. I love the Gain Smart Stocker HEAT that has the garlic in it. It has good fly control; Stocker HEAT does help with the fescue because we have a lot of fescue down here. The cattle are healthy, look good, and I think they are getting a premium.” 

Cattle on Wheat Pasture 

An ideal free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement designed to maximize gains while cattle are grazing wheat or small grain pasture is Gain Smart Wheat. With the same basic nutrients as the Gain Smart Stocker, this formula is designed to help calves convert small grain grasses into pounds of beef. 

In addition to putting on pounds of beef, the vitamins and mineral supplements help keep calves healthier, which saves you time and money on treatments. Therefore, you’re seeing more return on your investment without spending resources on sick calves that are going backward. 

“This is our third grazing season using the Gain Smart Wheat mineral. It seems to me our gains are probably up between a quarter to a third pound a day compared to the past, since switching to the Gain Smart. We’ve run the same style of high-risk cattle the past 10 years. Our health seems to be substantially better. It seems like our sickness and death loss has been significantly less the last three years. The Gain Smart increases digestibility. If they are eating, they stay healthier,” said Gregg Pickens from Oklahoma, in the Spring 0f 2020. 

Cattle on Grain Diets 

Not everyone has the forage resources to graze their cattle. For those who feed their calves a grain diet, there is Gain Smart Balancer RU 1600. This formula helps convert high grain diets into pounds and can be mixed directly into the ration or hand fed to the cattle.  

Gain Smart Balancer RU 1600 contains rumensin for increased feed efficiency. As well, it still contains Amaferm and organic copper, iodine and zinc for maximum availability and hoof health. 

Pounds equal profit and profit is the ultimate goal. Healthy, efficient pounds. That should be the goal of every person who is backgrounding calves or running yearlings. Reach your goal by choosing the right mineral for your management situation. The Gain Smart line has an option for you.  

“We put the Gain Smart HEAT to the test, especially in the summer. We have a lot of drought-stressed, heat-stressed calves. That’s when we buy a lot of calves when everybody is out of grass including ourselves. We feed about 2% of their body weight in commodity ration, DDG-based feed. I’m a firm believer of the HEAT in the summer. You see the cattle out grazing more, spread out more, they aren’t bunched up under the shade tree panting. It seems like they get out and hustle more and are not as stressed about the heat. They seem to stay cooler, and if we can keep them cooler, we can keep them more comfortable, they will definitely perform better. Anything we can do to keep them comfortable will help them perform,” said Rex Claxton of Oklahoma. 

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