Research done by Montana range scientist Derek Bailey has shed new light on the best system of providing minerals to cattle already being given low-moisture protein blocks. Bailey tested whether cattle should be provided mineral supplementation with dry mineral or by a low-moisture mineral block.
Bailey used electronic collars tracked by satellite, along with horseback observations to follow cattle movements precisely. The cows were given CRYSTALYX® low-moisture blocks and either loose mineral or Crystal-Phos® low-moisture blocks, as they were either grazing or offered harvested forage.
The research showed that cattle visited the CRYSTALYX® Crystal-Phos® every 2.7 days versus every 7 days for the dry mineral. Even when held in a smaller area while being fed harvested forage, the cattle used Crystal-Phos® more often (SEE CHART).
This study is the latest in five years of statistically supported research by Bailey showing the value of low-moisture blocks as a forage management tool. Improved grazing wastes less forage, increases the quality of more heavily grazed areas, and assists in the protection of ecologically sensitive areas.
Long-term study results have found low-moisture molasses blocks to be more reliable than either loose mineral or water for better grazing distribution. And self-feeding low-moisture blocks also reduce labor required to move cattle by horseback.