Urea

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
DosArroyos
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Urea

Postby DosArroyos » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:13 pm

What are the pros and cons of Urea being in or out of protein lick tubs.

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Faster horses
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Re: Urea

Postby Faster horses » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:27 pm

Are you asking for range cattle or feedlot? It makes a difference, because it takes a lot of energy to digest urea and energy
is short in winter range conditions; speaking about the northern parts of the country.

A little urea doesn't hurt, but to have too much in winter climates, your cattle could stand and shivver because they
don't have the energy to digest it, robs energy from their body....which is what keeps them warm.

Urea was first designed for feedlot use, where energy is supplied on a daily basis.
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Re: Urea

Postby DosArroyos » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:29 pm

I'm wondering about use as a range tub.I'd call my country central West Texas.Pasture is improved grasses which was fresh CRP 38 years ago,but is now overrun with small to medium Mesquites and cactus.

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Re: Urea

Postby Texan » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:59 am

I use the simple rule of thumb that if I have plenty of dormant grass or am putting out enough hay, cattle will get enough energy, given proper protein supplementation. If you don't have enough dormant grass or hay, you'll be better off using a natural protein supplement that will also provide some energy, such as range cubes/cake, a better quality hay, etc. That said, I always prefer natural protein and don't mind spending a little extra to get it. With a tub, though, you'll never get the high protein levels without using the NPN's.

Basically, if you have enough dormant grass, the NPN/urea supplied in a protein tub will help supply enough protein for them to get the energy they need, but you still have to answer some more questions to know if that will be enough. For your purposes, the question you have to ask yourself is whether or not they can consume enough of the tubs to get the protein they need. That is going to be dependent upon whether or not you're talking about yearlings, wet cows, dry cows, etc. With dormant grass, it's often difficult for a wet cow to consume enough protein from a tub to give her what she needs.

Protein tubs are the poorest bang for the buck with your protein dollar, though. I see a lot of protein tubs that cost close to $1,000/ton. As much as I'd like to use them for the convenience, I just can't justify that in most cases. But in some cases, we don't have choices, and if you're not out there every day or at least once per week, you might have to bite that bullet.

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Re: Urea

Postby Faster horses » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:34 pm

[quote="DosArroyos"]I'm wondering about use as a range tub.I'd call my country central West Texas.Pasture is improved grasses which was fresh CRP 38 years ago,but is now overrun with small to medium Mesquites and cactus.[/quote]

There probably isn't enough 'desirables' in your pasture, meaning forage that cattle desire to eat. Is there any green showing?
I assume you are wanting to get your cattle to eat the 'junk' in your pasture. Are these bred cows, nursing cows, yearlings? What
are they?

I agree with Texan (except that liquid supplement is the highest cost per pound of protein of all). I like all-natural tubs and he's right on the high cost of convenience. Really, a 28% protein tub with say, 8% urea,
most nutritionists would throw out the 8% urea and you would have 20% protein. If they are to eat 2# of the molasses based lick and you don't take anything out for moisture (because moisture has no nutrients, but I don't know the moisture content of the tubs you are considering so can't figure it) you have .20 x 2# = .4 # of protein at the max. Take out 10% for moisture and you have .18 x 2# = .36# of protein. Is that enough to do any good?

My suggestion would be to get some alfalfa hay, put it out at 5-10# per head per day and put it out twice a week.
You will get a lot more nutrition for your money.


Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Re: Urea

Postby DosArroyos » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:15 pm

There are 50 cows either pregnant or have calves on the ground.there are 19 calves on ground between 2 weeks old to 4 months old.1 bull.He stays with herd year round.I'm having calves year round.He is very good bull.By a gestation calculator he's getting moms bred again within 30 days of them having calves sometimes they calculate as low as 13 days...I'm feeding at least a 1200 pound bale of wheat hay and 200 pounds of 26% cubes a day.When I know it's going to be really cold I'll put 2 bales out.So really I don't even need to have the lick tubs out in the Winter,but put them out thru the Spring and Summer?I'm really watching there bodies and the patties they make.I know I'm probably over feeding some,but man do I have nice looking calves as well as cows,but really nice calves.Don't crucify me for the way I'm running my op.Just doing what I feel is right.

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Re: Urea

Postby Texan » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:36 pm

With what you're already supplementing - 4#/hd/day of 26% cubes - and figuring the value of wheat hay at 20+ pounds/hd/day, I wouldn't use the lick tubs at all. Certainly never in the spring or summer when forage is at it's peak. If anything, you might consider sticking out a couple of round bales of rough grass hay for them to gnaw on if they need more roughage, but even that might be a waste without knowing how much dormant grass you still have for them to pick on.

Honestly, it sounds as if you're doing just fine. Blow your money on your kids or something else other than the lick tub cartel and let the cattle work for you instead of you working for them.

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Re: Urea

Postby Faster horses » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:16 pm

Again, I agree with Texan.
Adding protein during peak forage can go against you.
Studies done in Australia show that too much protein upsets the PH in the uterus and can cause the egg to not
attach to the uterine wall. You may be doing this by adding more protein to their normal forage when at peak nutrition....
or you may not.
I think putting out protein tubs might make YOU feel better. :D
Be sure to keep a good loose mineral out for them. Wheat hay contains higher levels of phos, so you can go with
a lower phos mineral which will save you money. Your mineral dealer should be able to help you with this.
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Re: Urea

Postby DosArroyos » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:44 pm

Since we have been getting some light rains the rye and Winter grass is coming on good in the pastures so in the last week I've gone to hay one day,cubes the next.Hay every other day and cubes same way.They seem to be adjusting to it well.They are out working the pastures a lot more than they were when I was taking care of them so good.I'm gonna get off the tubs!

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Re: Urea

Postby TexasBred » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:35 pm

Texan wrote:I use the simple rule of thumb that if I have plenty of dormant grass or am putting out enough hay, cattle will get enough energy, given proper protein supplementation. If you don't have enough dormant grass or hay, you'll be better off using a natural protein supplement that will also provide some energy, such as range cubes/cake, a better quality hay, etc. That said, I always prefer natural protein and don't mind spending a little extra to get it. With a tub, though, you'll never get the high protein levels without using the NPN's.

Basically, if you have enough dormant grass, the NPN/urea supplied in a protein tub will help supply enough protein for them to get the energy they need, but you still have to answer some more questions to know if that will be enough. For your purposes, the question you have to ask yourself is whether or not they can consume enough of the tubs to get the protein they need. That is going to be dependent upon whether or not you're talking about yearlings, wet cows, dry cows, etc. With dormant grass, it's often difficult for a wet cow to consume enough protein from a tub to give her what she needs.

Protein tubs are the poorest bang for the buck with your protein dollar, though. I see a lot of protein tubs that cost close to $1,000/ton. As much as I'd like to use them for the convenience, I just can't justify that in most cases. But in some cases, we don't have choices, and if you're not out there every day or at least once per week, you might have to bite that bullet.

Couldn't agree with you more but would add that you need to start every hay feeding season with a good test of your available hay. And don't be negative toward utilizing some urea in whatever supplementation you use. Urea improves rumen function and increases the amount of the lower quality roughage that is actually utilized and it usually knocks a sizeable expense off the price of a bag or a ton of feed/tubs or whatever. Most all profit oriented operators will take advantage of not only the benefits of urea but the savings by feeding it. Best wishes to you Texan.
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