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Faster horses--- Mineral

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Big Muddy rancher

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I was reading a year old article by David P. Price about Phos requirements.. What i got out of it is that the NRC levels are to high and our cattle get enough phos without extra being fed. I fact you would have to feed a diet of Brewers corn grits just to get a diet low enough in Phosto be able to short a animal . The gist of the article was that we are feeding to much and spending to much for Phosphorous. :cowboy:
 

Faster horses

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I am trying to place David Price. I think he used to write a column for Beef magazine years ago. He is right in that NRC keeps lowering the phos requirement for cattle. As far as eliminating it all together, I doubt that very much. Where did you read this article? Some publications cut articles (Drover's Journal is notorious for this) and you are left with the wrong idea.

If you recall, I have posted information from nutritionists that recommend 2 to 1 cal. to phos, or 3 to 1, even 4 to 1. That is largely due to the lowered requirement of phos by the NRC. However, there is a correlation between calcium and phosphorus that is necessary. Do not use 1-1 cal to phos mineral and never use higher phos than calcium. (15-12 was an old formula. Remember that? Triple 12 was another. Both are no longer recommended.) Some of those places that make mineral are still using these old formulas, simply because they sell what someone (thinks) they want instead of educating them as to what is correct. That is one of my pet peeves! And one of the reasons I try to educate ranchers on the proper formula of mineral.

Phos is very necessary for optimum energy utilization, reproductive performance and fiber digestion. Phos must come in a utilizable form. Deflorinated phosphate is not recommended.

Some of the mineral we use at a certain time is actually 7-1 cal to phos. When you feed any grain or grain hays, they are higher in phos and you can easily use a lower phos mineral.

Remember when cows ate bones and we thought "those cattle are lacking phosphorus?" Well, when the researhers ground the bones down, they found they contained CALCIUM. It has been found now that supplementing calcium to cattle is as important as supplementing calcium to people. In fact, feedlots have found that upping calcium in their rations results in added gain. Calcium in your cowherd contributes to milk production and stong bones and teeth. I have seen cattle whose calcium requirements were not met from 1 to 4 years of age that had no teeth at a fairly young age. Cattle will rob from their own stores first to try to meet their requirements and as a result the cattle lost teeth when they were young.

I hope this helps.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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FH, David Price's web site is www.cattleandwildlifenutrition.com. i think is what he is saying we don't need to supp phos as much as we do. In a chart in the Canadian Cattlemen's mag it shows feedlot hfrs. performance was about the same with low phos and to high a phos diet. So What I am saying is you are right that we don't need 1-1 mineral as much as 2-1 or 3-1. He is saying the NRC has a very high "safety margin" built into the accepted "Requirement" :D
 

Faster horses

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I will check this out, but supplementing phos is one of the reasons cattle clean better after calving. When cattle are short of phos that is one of the symptoms. There can be other reasons they fail to clean, abnormal presentations, twins, etc. but when you supplement minerals you will see the difference in how quickly and well cattle clean. This contributes to early breed back.

Phos is very bitter so when there is too much in a mineral mix, it is very hard to get the mineral into the cattle. It is also one of, if not THE, most expensive ingredient in mineral.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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When I said the Hfrs. performace was about the same on a low Phos diet as a high Phos diet, I forgot to say that performance was best at a mid range level. I do know cows clean better ect. when having mineral but it was that the NRC was erring on the high side. by a large margin. :cowboy:
 

Faster horses

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Oh, I didn't think we were in a disagreement. Anyway, I hope not. You posted some information and I posted some! Just information.

The NRC did have phos requirements high and they do keep lowering them. Now if the makers of mineral (and I won't call them companies, because I think most of the mineral companies have changed their formulas--it is the FEED companies riding on the coat tails trying to sell something they don't know much about that are the problem) will take heed and quit offering formulas that are very outdated just because someone will buy it...

I still run into half salt, half phos junk that people put out for their cows that they actually buy in town. Unbelievable!!
 

Faster horses

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I sure can/will...but sadly...I * don't * remember * anything * about * us talking about it. (And yes, I put the astrick's there, it isn't a mistake--it is to show the errors of my ways).
What did you wish to know about? Them changing this forum blew my mind for a day or two. You have my e-mail address, correct? If you want, just e-mail me and hopefully I can get you what you want.

I'm happy to do it--just slipped my feeble mind.
 

Jason

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Most people don't consider what they feed their cows before they look at a mineral program. No mineral in the world will make up for a lack of feed.

I haven't fed a mineral with added calcium or Phos for many years. I use a trace mineralized salt and have wonderful results.

The most expensive ingredients in mineral are Vitamin E then maybe phos. Although you can buy dicalcium phosphate for less than $15 a bag.

Alfalfa has high levels of calcium and greenfeeds or grains have high phos. The only herds that would need added phos are those that never feed anything but alfalfa and graze only grass. Cake or range cubes will provide phos in greater amounts than some would expect.

Bottom line is there are no rules that one can make for all herds in all areas. Knowing your feed sources and watching for signals in the cows is the best bet.
 

Faster horses

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Well, Jason while I respect your opinion, watching the cows, seeing something not right-- it is often times too late. The wreck is on. I know from personal experience. Feeding trace mineral salt is a joke, does nothing for the cow. They can't get enough trace minerals to do them any good. Trust me on that.

We also 'got by' for years, but then we were in a major wreck, brought on by purchasing some registered cows and bringing disease into our herd who did not have a good immune system to fight off the new disease. We found later (much later) that where we lived, the water contained sulfates which tie up copper and zinc, which is what is needed for a good immune system.


I hope what happened to us, never happens to you! Sometimes we are walking a tightrope and never know it until we fall off. If things were different in Canada I would challange you to put a group of your cattle on mineral and monitor the difference in performance. I can almost guarantee you would see a difference.

When we ask cattle to perform as we do, they cannot do it being shorted on nutrition. MSU has done many studies here in Montana and they have found we are short of copper and zinc. As for the calcium you mentioned, that is what was previously thought--there was plenty of calcium in the feed. However, now it has been found that that source of calcium is not as available to the cow as originally thought.

We purchased a bull a couple years ago. He was the only bull that was not on our mineral program. Out of all the bulls here, guess which one got hoof rot? Yep, him. And he was the only one. It is incidences like this that I pay attention to and confirms my belief in a good mineral program. When you are not on a good mineral program, you live with things you think are normal. Get on a program and watch a lot of problems disappear. I have lived it, and seen it happen with other producers. I do not believe in purchasing a lot of protein as I believe most forage contains enough protein, but I do believe in supplementing what we know to be missing in our forage. Filling in the gap does wonders for your cattle.

Once again, I do respect you and your opinion. I have read your posts here most favorably and my hat has been off to you for a long time.
 

Shelly

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Faster horses, do you or anyone else for that matter heard or used Orwig's MLS Tubs? We had a salesman around this morning and we bought one to give it a try. We usually just feed loose salt and minerals free-choice and our cows gobble that up in a matter of a few days. Thought maybe a tub would last longer.
 

hillbilly

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Shelly, I have had lots of buddies use the MLS tubs. The ingredients are right and the contents appear to be the right kind. I haven't used them myself but it seems that everyone is happy with them.

I bought a molasses based block for sh*ts and giggles from the COOP and it was a 275lb block and 20 cows went through that in about a week. The cost was $75, I am not good a math, but I think I blew my budget there! HA HA!
Anyways, moderate consumption is always my biggest concern when feeding the lick tubs.
 

Shelly

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The salesman said each cow should only consume .3 of a pound per day. I guess we'll find out! It's a pretty big tub, but I see the cows are going crazy over it already. May not last that long. Calves are eating it too.
 

hillbilly

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He may be right but I would bet the first while they would consume more than that until they get used to the mineral.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I am using a Protien mineral supp That I have made in Regina. It is based on the specs of Vigortone Forage Pro. I don't know if it is as good or has the same potential as Forage Pro. but my cows have real good looking hair and seem to be doing real well. IT is a loose formula that I put out in tubs containing Chelated mineral, salt and protien. costing about 15cents a day. I do find a bit of varience in consumptiom depending on the quality of my hay but i feed these cows no grain and only supplemental hay as the are out grazing native pasture. :cowboy:
 

Jason

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We also 'got by' for years, but then we were in a major wreck,
I hope what happened to us, never happens to you! Sometimes we are walking a tightrope and never know it until we fall off. If things were different in Canada I would challange you to put a group of your cattle on mineral and monitor the difference in performance. I can almost guarantee you would see a difference.

When we ask cattle to perform as we do, they cannot do it being shorted on nutrition. MSU has done many studies here in Montana and they have found we are short of copper and zinc. As for the calcium you mentioned, that is what was previously thought--there was plenty of calcium in the feed. However, now it has been found that that source of calcium is not as available to the cow as originally thought.


For years we had a 'scour' problem in our calves...it was so severe we even switched part of the herd to fall calving to reduce the severity of the losses. We traced the problem by accident to a selenium deficiency. We had been playing with minerals spending thousands of dollars on them with little responce. As it turns out the scours were what finally killed the calves but it was a chronic pneumonia that was causing it. Selenium at birth was too late. Selenium injections on the cows at the level required were too dangerous, the trace mineralized salt with selenium added at 120 mg/kg (4 times the legal amount allowed in minerals) has been the answer. Things like copper, iron, and zinc are high enough in the salt we use because it is the only source of salt we use.

The only time I would recommend an additional mineral is when feeding mainly straw as a roughage or when feeding a ration we know is out of balance.

Do the math on what a cow eats, if she eats 25 pounds of alfalfa take the amount of calcium (from the feed test) she gets from that source compared to the amount of calcium she will get from 2 ounces of a 12% mineral.

I agree if foot rot is a problem mineral is indicated. Your area sounds like the ration is deficient in one or more minerals, but in areas where the feeding period is different the mineral program will not yield the same results.

I am responsible for the herd health here and for a herd in Texas and the minerals we use are far different. Results are similar though, birth weights there are similar to here and the cattle perform to similar standards based on feed inputs. It has been a very valuable education for me, finding out some stereotypes are completely false, and some things are true no matter where you run cattle.
 

Faster horses

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Shelly, I have heard of MLS tubs and as far as tubs go, I think they are satisfactory if you get the right ones. I don't know what the Orwig means in front of MLS, however. I just saw an ad here that there is a dealer close by here so I might check it out just for kicks and giggles.

If you asked me what I thought of tubs my reply would be "not much." What is the protein percentage of what you bought? 3 tenths of an lb. doesn't impress me. Three tenths of what? 16% protein? Figure it out, if the tub is 16% protein and they are saying all that is required is 3 tenths of a lb. per day, your cattle are getting .053 lb. of protein. Requirements in third trimester are nearly 2 lb. of protein. You have 5% of that. That isn't enough to do any good. What is it costing you to do this? Is it all natural or does it contain urea or NPN? You couldn't pay me enough to get me to buy a tub with urea or NPN in it.

What I don't like about tubs is you don't know what is used as filler. Molasses in a brick is very cheap. There is a lot of tubs out there that are worthless, in my book. They have chicken feathers, wood shavings, who knows what all in them. If they eat too much, molasses can upset the PH in the rumen, which is not good. Why are you feeding tubs? Get your hay tested and I would bet you $100 you have enough protein in your hay that you don't need to supplement with molasses tubs. Lots of people do it because it makes them feel better.

I would go along with Big Muddy Rancher. Loose supplement is best. Requires more management, but you know what your cattle are getting in them. He is not feeding molasses, but is supplementing nutritious
feedstuffs.

I don't mean to be hard on you here, just making sure you understand what you are buying. I will go back and read your post to make sure you said they recommended 3 tenths of a lb. per head per day. That just is not very much. 100% of nothing is still nothing. I hate to see producers spend money on something that they don't need, or isn't doing them much good.
 

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