Enhanced sodium and calcium sources for cattle



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Texas Tech University


The effects of enhanced calcium and sodium formate sources were evaluated to determine if supplementation would change forage digestibility (OMD and DMD), ruminal environment (volatile fetty acids and ruminal fluid pH), ruminal fiber digestion and animal performance. Experiment one used calcium source (Nutrion) and sodium formate source (Radex) included in a mineral package for grazing second calf cows. Body condition scores, pregnancy rate, cow weights and calf weights were taken. No significant improvement was seen between mineral treatments. Range forage samples were analysised for formate concentrate. Differences were seen between pastures and over time of year. Experiment two used calcium source (Nutrion) and sodium formate source (Radex) were included with complete diets. Variables of rumen volatile fatty acids and ruminal pH, ruminal digestion of fiber were measured. Supplementation improved consistently as compared to control across all fiber qualities. Total volatile fatty acid production was increased with Nutrion calcium source. These data suggest that enhanced calcium and sodium sources can be used in ruminal diets for increased fiber digestion.