FEED BEEF - MFA Salt Mixes

   MFA Salt Mixes

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   Limiting Feed Intake

   Advantages of salt mixes

    1.)   Regulating feed intake with salt is one of the most frequently used management tools for reducing labor costs
            in a cattle operation. 
    2.)   Additionally, self-feeding supplements tend to allow the timid, slow-eating cattle to get their share of the supplement.

   Disadvantages of salt mixes

    1.)   Salt is not a precise regulator of intake since some cows have a greater tolerance. 
    2.)   Salt is corrosive to feeders.

   Effects of high salt intake

    1.)   Most cattle have a high tolerance for salt. The one-time lethal dose is 4-5 pounds. 
    2.)   As a rule of thumb, cattle on salt mixture rations drink 50 to 75% more water than normal. Salt is rapidly absorbed
           from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream and then is excreted through the urine. Adequate clean water must be
           available for the animal to excrete the salt. 
    3.)   Controlled experiments in several states fail to show any harmful side effects from proper use of salt mix rations.

   Factors Affecting Consumption

    Reduced intake

    1.)   Where large amounts of salt are available naturally in the drinking water, consumption of salt mixes is less. 
    2.)   Less-than-expected intake may occur when salt mixes are first introduced and cattle are getting accustomed to them.


    1.)   When forage is scarce or unpalatable, cattle tend to consume more than is expected. 
    2.)   As cattle become accustomed to the salt mix, they may consume more than the recommended amount.

   Salt requirements of cattle and levels of intake in self-fed salt mixes

    1.)   Mature cattle require approximately 1 oz. of salt per head per day. 
    2.)   Because there are practical limits to the amount of salt cattle can eat, it can be used to limit the intake of MFA Salt Mixes. 
    3.)   Research throughout the United States has shown that voluntary daily intake of salt will be approximately 0.1 pound
            of salt for each 100 pounds of body weight. MFA Salt Mixes are formulated with this assumption.

   Features and Uses

    These salt mixes are also available with extra magnesium to help prevent grass tetany.

   MFA Salt Mix No. 1

    1.)   Use as year-round supplement for beef cows in a spring calving program. Provide no other minerals to achieve
           adequate consumption. Increase supplementation during calving and breeding season. 
    2.)   Fortified with Vitamin A, it also contains various trace minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium, cobalt,
            zinc, copper and selenium. 
    3.)   Mature cows will consume about 2-3 pounds per head per day. Smaller cattle will eat less.

   MFA Salt Mix No. 2

    1.)   Use as supplement for beef cows with nursing calves in a fall calving program. 
    2.)   Severe weather conditions may warrant higher energy on dry cows in winter. 
    3.)   Beef cows consuming poor quality roughage will need this higher energy mix. 
    4.)   Mature cows will consume about 3-4 pounds per head per day. Smaller cattle will eat less.

For more information, contact Janice Spears at

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