Educational + How to Start
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What species of livestock can Crafts-Min be fed to?
Crafts-Min can be fed to any species except for sheep. The copper is too high for them.
How much Crafts-Min should livestock get? How much do they eat?
Crafts-Min should be fed free-choice to all livestock (except sheep) so they can get as much as they need, but usually consume 1-2 oz. per day per head.
How long will Crafts-min last? In what time period should it be used?
Crafts-min will not go bad as long as it is kept dry. But mineral should be used up within a year or so as eventually the vitamins and minerals in the bag will become less effective.
If I am a new farmer and I want a recommendation for a starter pack, what do you recommend?
We recommend starting off with the all-in-one livestock mineral, Crafts-Min as well as Kansas Rock Salt and Desert Detox; all in separate compartments. If you need suggestions for how to physically feed those minerals, we have a mineral tub sled for sale as well.
Is Crafts-Min or Salt Buddy certified Organic?
Yes, both of these are certified Organic and have the USDA Organic seal.
When should I use Crafts-Min w/ Spices or High Mag Crafts-Min?
The Spice pack can be used for any species or class but is mostly recommended for breeding animals in very cold or very hot environments. High-Mag Crafts-Min is recommended for areas where Grass Tetany is a big problem.
Salt / Salt Buddy
What ratio of Salt Buddy to Salt do you feed?
Do you carry C-90 Salt or Redmond’s Salt?
When should Salt Buddy be fed?
What helps with flies?
We have Neemesis that is a natural fly/parasite concentrate. This will help with external parasites. Salt Buddy helps with internal and external parasites.
What should I mix Neemesis with to dilute it? And what ratio should it be mixed at?
Mineral oil is the best option to dilute Neemesis with, but does not have to be diluted. Recommended ratio is 9 gallons Mineral oil:1 gallon Neemesis.
What’s the best way to use Neemesis?
Is Neemesis certified Organic?
Apple Cider Vinegar
How much ACV should be fed to livestock? How should/can it be fed?
Does ACV affect sodium bicarbonate when mixed in a TMR?
What is different between Heavy ACV and Normal ACV?
Heavy ACV is much thicker and has a lot more of the Mother in it. It has been proven to be healthier for livestock than normal ACV.
What is the difference between Lassahol and Moola?
Lassahol is fermented molasses which is 18% alcohol and should only be fed at 1/oz/head/day at maximum to livestock. Moola is Lassahol mixed with ACV.
When should Desert Detox be fed?
In general, it’s best to give the livestock access to Desert Detox year-round. They may go long stretches without touching it, but could need a lot of it all at once. Definitely make sure they have it if the livestock have gotten into something toxic or moldy hay.
How much Desert Detox should I have on hand?
Are your mastitis products preventative at all?
We suggest Flo Max or Udder Preme when you are having problems with mastitis, but these products aren’t designed to prevent mastitis. Year-round use of Crafts-Min and ACV are the best ways to prevent mastitis.
What’s the best strategy for worming my livestock?
What is the shipping cost for bags of mineral and other products?
In general if ordering just 1-2 bags of mineral it will be $25/bag to ship. If ordering 10 bags or more we will get you an exact quote for the freight.
Where can I pick up these products instead of having them shipped?
Fly Control Protocol
Here’s the basic protocol we use for natural control, prevention and eradication of all fly problems. At Holistic Livestock Supply, we encourage you to approach it with a holistic attitude, that is, by looking at every single reason flies are bugging you.
- Remember, flies are just another parasite, an external one. Everything listed here also helps rid other parasites too! Both internal and external. That’s a nice bonus!
- Not only are flies a nuisance, they cost you money! A typical case of 200-500 horn flies per animal will steal a ½ pint of blood a day, which will cost you at least ½ pound of daily gain or a half gallon of milk. Flies also transmit over 30 infectious diseases!
- Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine states “All Disease Begins In The Gut”. Which includes parasites! This means that there isn’t a disease that doesn’t go back to nutritional deficiencies. Dr. Francis Pottenger removed any doubt of the truth of this. Our holistic plan, therefore begins by making sure nutritional needs are met.
Follow This Protocol:
- In addition to good forages (year-round, high Brix-10 or better, no mold, and lots of greens), supply high-quality free-choice minerals. Repel all insects and worms with these critical traces: copper, sulfur, and iodine. These should be at high levels in your mineral mix. We recommend Crafts-Min for Cattle and Goats and we recommend Sheep Guardian for Sheep.
- It’s a well-documented fact that animals that have free-choice access to RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR are extremely resistant to flies and worms. New animals, weak animals or stressed animals should be allowed to drink all they want every day. Following that, and when the flies have been knocked down, it’s safe to drop to the standard dosage range of 1 oz. per 200 lb. of body weight.
- During heavy fly pressure: Add Salt Buddy to all your free-choice salt. This is 60% pure yellow sulfur with over 9,000 ppm iodine in a tasty base. Mix in 10 lb. to every 100 lb. of salt and keep giving it until the fly season is gone. Offer no other salt.
- To get an instant knock-down without poisons, we recommend NEEMESIS™ livestock insect spray. There is nothing on the market that is stronger or more effective. A gallon of concentrate makes up to 12 gallons total when mixed with mineral or vegetable oil. If you have extreme fly problems, mix it stronger, a gallon with only 3-4 gallons of oil. Spray it on heavily, especially face, feet, shoulders and belly. A backpack sprayer usually works best. Then get some good oilers and put them near the mineral boxes (or the water source). Keep them drippy wet with the oil mix.
All livestock require a number of minerals for optimal growth and reproduction. Selecting the correct mineral supplement is important for maintaining healthy animals, and optimal growth and reproduction. Minerals not provided by feed can be easily and inexpensively supplied with a simple mineral supplement. A good mineral program is the least expensive means of maintaining animal health, nutrient-dense meats and ranch profitability.
Minerals essential to cattle nutrition are classified as macro-minerals or micro-minerals, depending on whether they are found at levels greater than or less than 100 parts per million (ppm) in the animal’s body.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Calcium and phosphorus are the major mineral components of the skeleton. Ninety-nine percent of total body calcium and 80 percent of total body phosphorus are stored in the bones. The skeletal stores of calcium and phosphorus are used to meet short-term dietary inadequacies. Long-term deficiencies of either can cause bones to weaken and even break.
Calcium and phosphorus also play important roles in other bodily functions. A decrease in either or both can cause a decrease in weight gain and/or a decrease in efficiency of gain. During lactation, low amounts of either will reduce milk production. A superior milking cow requires three times more calcium than does a non-lactating cow. A phosphorus deficiency can delay puberty in heifers and can delay mature beef cows from returning to heat following parturition. Cattle also need correct amounts of calcium for the nervous and muscular systems to function properly.
Proper utilization of calcium and phosphorus is affected not only by the amount of each mineral fed, but also by their ratio. The optimum Ca:P ratio is about 1.5:1, so we provide mixtures ranging from 2:1 up to a 1:2 ratio, which is desirable for livestock making butterfat, milk, pregnancy or a good finishing weight.
Most grasses are adequate in calcium, particularly legumes but the quality and quantity vary. Most forages are low in phosphorus, particularly late in the growing season. Cattle are more likely to be phosphorus-deficient during the winter, when they often subsist on dry forages. This is quite commonly a “yield-limiting factor”.
Sodium and Chlorine
Sodium chloride (salt) provides for the proper function of the nervous and muscular systems. They help regulate body pH and the amount of water retained in the body. A deficiency of these elements causes loss of appetite and inefficient weight gains or body weight loss. Sodium is commonly deficient in diets, but chlorine levels are usually adequate. Both minerals are present in soft tissues and fluids and there is very little storage of these elements, so a constant, daily source of sodium and chlorine must be provided. Cattle will voluntarily consume more salt when forage is young and succulent than when it matures. Silage-fed cattle will consume more salt than those fed hay, and consumption is higher in cattle fed high-roughage diets than in those on high-concentrate diets. Salt should always be provided FREE-CHOICE, apart from all other minerals (in general), and in a loose form to be quickly consumed and avoid competition.
Magnesium is essential for proper enzyme and nervous system function and for efficient carbohydrate metabolism. A magnesium deficiency is uncommon except for cows grazing lush-growth fescue or small grain pastures during the late winter and early spring, which may cause grass tetany. A high rate of nitrogen and potassium fertilization contributes to grass tetany. Excess potassium inhibits magnesium absorption in both forage and animals. Grass tetany usually occurs following an extended period of cold weather combined with high levels of nitrogen and potassium fertilization. Mature lactating cows are particularly susceptible to grass tetany. Grass tetany can usually be prevented by feeding cattle a mineral mixture containing magnesium oxide. Adequate salt intake is also important in the prevention of grass tetany. Animals with grass tetany respond almost immediately to an intravenous infusion of calcium-magnesium gluconate.
Potassium functions in acid-base balance, osmotic pressure and the amount of water retained in the body. Grasses, particularly early lush spring growth, contains adequate amounts of potassium for grazing cattle and supplementation is rarely needed in grazing cattle. However, potassium may occasionally be low in stockpiled forages or hay that was rained upon prior to baling because potassium is soluble and will leach from the forage.
Sulfur is a part of the essential amino acids, methionine and cystine, which are two of the amino acids that make up protein. A deficiency of sulfur in beef cattle diets is not likely to occur under normal feeding conditions. Sulfur is more likely to be in excess, which can interfere with the metabolism of copper resulting in a copper deficiency. Also, excess sulfur can reduce feed intake and cause a condition known as polioencephalomalacia.
There are 10 micro-minerals required by beef cattle. Seven of the 10 micro-minerals have established requirements and include iron, manganese, copper, zinc, selenium, cobalt and iodine. The micro-minerals chromium, molybdenum and nickel do not have an established requirement and are not normally added to mineral mixes fed to beef cattle. Only three of the micro-minerals (copper, zinc and selenium) are likely to be deficient in grazing beef cattle diets.
Cobalt functions as a component of vitamin B-12, which is synthesized in the rumen by bacteria. The primary deficiency symptom is loss of appetite and poor growth.
Copper is the most common micro-mineral deficiency in grazing cattle. Copper is an important component of many enzyme systems essential for normal growth and development. Deficiency signs include reduced fertility, depressed immunity and reduced pigmentation of hair (black hair changes to red). Dietary deficiencies can occur, but most deficiencies are caused by the consumption of antagonists, which reduces copper absorption. Copper should be supplemented in multiple forms, including one or more organic or chelated forms.
Iodine is an essential mineral for function of the thyroid hormones that regulate energy metabolism. The first sign of iodine deficiency is goiter in newborn calves. Iodine deficient areas range throughout the US, and this mineral is easily depleted from soils and forages.
Iron is primarily required for the formation of hemoglobin. Deficiency symptoms include anemia, depressed immunity and decreased weight gains. Iron deficiency is rarely observed in grazing cattle.
Manganese is required for normal reproduction and fetal and udder development.
Selenium deficiency is very common with depleted soils, pastures and forages. Selenium deficiency causes white muscle disease (similar to muscular dystrophy) in newborn calves. Selenium deficiency can also cause calves to be weak at birth and increase their susceptibility to calfhood diseases like scours. Increased rates of retained placentas and poor reproductive performance are often observed in cows with selenium deficiencies.
Zinc is deficient in most livestock and the majority of humans. Zinc is a component of many enzymes and important for immunity, male reproduction, and skin and hoof health. Cattle have a limited ability to store zinc and thus zinc supplementation is always necessary. Zinc absorption is closely tied to copper absorption.
Vitamins are closely linked to mineral metabolism and absorption.
Vitamin A helps skin and mucous membranes stay healthy. Vitamin A requirements usually are met by grazing fresh, green, growing grass. Oxidation deteriorates vitamin A during storage, so diets based on stored feeds should be supplemented with vitamin A. Supplement diets with vitamin A anytime the major portion is stored feeds.
Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine and their deposition in the bone matrix. Signs of vitamin D deficiency are similar to a calcium or phosphorus deficiency.
Vitamin E is usually present in the diet in sufficient quantities for all classes of cattle; however, a selenium deficiency could lead to an apparent deficiency of vitamin E. Vitamin E can be helpful for short term periods of stress that may occur when calves are co-mingled and transported at weaning.
A mineral deficiency in cattle is difficult to diagnose and can silently rob profits from the herd. Most deficiencies are related to copper, zinc and selenium, but other mineral deficiencies can occur.
Mineral deficiencies are classified as either primary or secondary deficiencies. Primary mineral deficiencies occur when cattle consume forages that are deficient in a particular mineral such as magnesium. Failure to provide a mineral supplement is the most common cause of primary mineral deficiencies. Primary mineral deficiencies rarely occur in well-managed herds that receive mineral supplements.
A secondary mineral deficiency occurs when cattle consume mineral antagonists, which interfere with the normal absorption or metabolism of another mineral. In the case of copper deficiency, cattle are consuming enough copper to meet requirements, but some other mineral antagonist such as sulfur binds to the copper and prevents it from being absorbed and used by the animal. Secondary mineral deficiencies are the most common type of mineral deficiency. Take the following steps to ensure that the problem is due to a mineral deficiency.
- Rule out other possible causes of poor performance such as disease, plant toxins, or inadequate protein and energy in the diet. The first sign of a problem in most herds is poor reproductive efficiency. Inadequate body condition, due to protein or energy deficiency, is the most common cause of reproductive failure.
- If a secondary mineral deficiency is suspected, then a laboratory analysis of forages must be conducted. In some instances, water should be tested if it is suspected that it might be high in iron or sulfur.
- Blood samples and liver biopsies may also be used to assess the mineral status of a cow. Liver samples are a more accurate indicator of mineral status. These tests are expensive and should be pursued once the above steps have been taken.