Animals don’t only need protein and energy, they also need vitamins and minerals. Farmers can buy vitamin and mineral mixes that can be supplemented into an animal’s daily ration. Vitamins and minerals can also be feed as a solid block that the animals will lick while out grazing.
Two very important minerals are calcium and phosphorous. These minerals are important for proper bone and teeth development, metabolism, and more. It is normally suggested that the ratio of calcium to phosphorous is about 2:1 for normal functions. One easy way to keep this balance is to feed dicalcium phosphate. Like other nutrients, the levels of these minerals also depends on the age of the animal.
Farmers will also add medication to animals’ rations in order to treat or prevent disease. Farmers carefully track and record when they feed medications as animals going to market must be taken off medications weeks in advance. This time, known as the “withdrawal period”, ensures that there is no medication in the meat or other products humans will consume.