Here are some basic deer mineral concepts. So many deer minerals on the market offer very poor nutrition and others are lacking palatability. Today, i'll cover some basics.
Deer and animals in general do not like dusty feed stuffs and minerals. This is why we use some form of dust control on the products we formulate. You can accomplish this in your deer minerals by adding 10-20 lbs per ton of mineral oil.
Salt regulates intake. Deer mineral is a free choice mineral. Free choice minerals need to be 15-25% salt for maximum intakes. If you have less than 15% you won't have the ability to repell water, as you need a little crust on top of your mineral lick. If you have over 25% salt,, the deer won't consume as much. We actually increase the salt level in feeds when we don't want animals to over consume a dry feed blend. Deer only require .02 lbs of salt per head per day. So if you are trying to get an ounce or more of a deer mineral consumed by a deer, you can't accomplish this with high salt levels.
Antlers are made up of around 22% calcium and 11% phosphorous. You want to get as many units of each of these 2 major minerals as possible. The higher the calcium and phosphorous % in a deer mineral, the more grams per animal per day are consumed.
Deer require between 40-80 ppm per head per day of Zinc and Manganese. Deer require 10-20 ppm per head per day of Copper. Deer require .30 ppm per head per day of selenium. These are the major essential trace minerals for immune function, reproduction, and overall health. To meet their daily requirements for these 4 trace minerals you need 2400 ppm's per lb of zinc and manganese, 600 ppm's per lb of copper and 17.5 ppm's selenium per lb of deer mineral.
How you calculate this is ppm's per lb x .06 lbs/head/day (pounds of mineral consumed by the deer) / (divided by) 3.5 lbs of dry matter consumed per deer per day ( total intake of all forages and ingredients eaten in a days time by a deer)
example 1: a deer mineral containing 2400 ppm's zinc
2400 x .06 / 3.5 = 41.14 ppms in a diet
example 2: a deer mineral containing 300 ppms zinc
300 x .06 / 3.5 = 5.14 ppm's zinc in diet.
So you would only be getting 1/8 of a deer's daily requirements of zinc if you were using a deer mineral with only 300 ppm's zinc in it.
An average deer will consume 2.5% of their body weight in dry matter per head per day. So if a deer weighed 140 lbs, their average intake would be 140 x .025 = 3.5 lbs dry matter per head per day
So before you buy deer mineral, get out your calculator and see what your getting out of your current supplier. Most deer minerals contribute very little to a deer's overall health.