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Using salt to limit DDG intake in feeder cattle

LCP

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Has anybody tried this? I'd like to background my steer calves this fall/winter but don't have the facilities to keep them all at home. I was thinking this might be a viable alternative to buying a mixer wagon and more bunks.
 

littlejoe

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LCP said:
Has anybody tried this? I'd like to background my steer calves this fall/winter but don't have the facilities to keep them all at home. I was thinking this might be a viable alternative to buying a mixer wagon and more bunks.

Never done it, but seems to make not much sense to me. Supposedly, our blood--and cows---a lot of our systems---have same % of salt as ocean water. Goes to evolution?

Anyway, the animal eats all the salt it can stand to get as much grain as it can get. Then drinks a heap of water, to 'rebalance'. Then has to burn energy to warm the water up to body temperature. Then--out the back end goes excess fluids. That you just paid to heat.

And how do we measure energy? A btu is amount of energy needed to raise a pound of water a degree F, a calorie is a gram a degree C, 'eh?

I saw the math on this in winter, water was barely above freezing, ration was 1 unit salt to 3 units barley. Took 2 units barley energy to 'heat' the 'extra' water.

Speaking of salt, what do people feed? I hate white bread, figger it's got all the goodies outa it. Ditto white salt. I get loose 'seasalt' in 'totes' from redmond utah, have organic iodine added and mix it with my mineral. Seems my cows either won't eat mineral or can't get enuf. We were looking thru records last nite, trying to figger out something----and it dawned on us that we'd calved out over 90% in first 30 days. Retained placentas--none---calf vigor---excellent-health, outstanding--lotsa stuff better, since we got conscientous about mineral program.
 

redrobin

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Joe there's not much I believe about your scenario including and beginning with the evolution. I think the salt limiter would be acceptable other than a delivery method that works. DDG is pretty fluffy for a self feeder.
 

littlejoe

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redrobin said:
Joe there's not much I believe about your scenario including and beginning with the evolution. I think the salt limiter would be acceptable other than a delivery method that works. DDG is pretty fluffy for a self feeder.

Ya? You even eat anything salty? Did it make you thirsty?

You ever cut your finger and stick it in your mouth?

Did it taste salty?

You ever warm up any water?

Did it take any energy?

More properly, I should have said that the % of salt in mammals blood is similiar to salt levels in the oceans when life was beginning on earth.

Whatever---our blood contains perhaps 1% salt and our bodies will try to maintain that level.

This from a study controlling meal consumption with salt:

Cows fed a high salt allowance consumed considerably more water and excreted a much greater volume of urine than cows receiving only a normal salt allowance. Total chloride excretion of the high salt cows was 11.5 times that of the controls, 98.3 percent of which was excreted in the urine. Histological studies showed no kidney damage.

Data from a digestion trial indicate a beneficial effect of high salt intake upon digestibility of all the nutrients, particularly protein, crude fiber and nitrogen-free extract, with a less significant effect on ether extract digestion. Further investigation is needed.

High salt intake appeared to have no detrimental effect upon reproductive performance of the cows
End of quote>

So--does have some benficial effect, which I didn't know. I'm too cheap tho to pay a couple hundred $$ a ton for 'feed' that ain't feed.

If your problem is 'evolution', it's a fairly common belief that life on earth originated in oceans. But---to each his own.
 

PATB

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A good year round mineral program makes you money in the end by reducing challenges and calfing headaches. It is my experience that mineral helps in overall health of the herd plus increases immune response to vacines. My cows are like littejoes they either devour the mineral or barely touch it. The cows have a balance mineral salt mix available 24/7.
 

redrobin

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littlejoe said:
Ya? You even eat anything salty? Did it make you thirsty?

You ever cut your finger and stick it in your mouth?

Did it taste salty?

You ever warm up any water?

Did it take any energy?

More properly, I should have said that the % of salt in mammals blood is similiar to salt levels in the oceans when life was beginning on earth.

Whatever---our blood contains perhaps 1% salt and our bodies will try to maintain that level.
Just for grins, what was the percentage of salt in ocean water "when life was beginning on earth" ?

Regarding the DDG limited with salt, I might see things your way if you can give specifics. You sound like you're quoting lick tub sales men for your source. Give us an example of actual costs if he's feeding salt limited ddg .
 

lefty

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I feed salt as a limiter in the winter time or have in the past . with soybean meal & mineral .We feed mostly native hay some is pretty ruff with salt & soybean in the mineral I can get much better intake on mineral than just a mineral mix in the bunk . the last year I did it I used dry distillers instead of soybeans It worked just fine . But not as a ration just free choise in bunk .

Once again free advice can be expensive ...

I was cutting some rippgut swamp hay one time , the neighbor stopped & asked me If you ever get that in a cow how would you get it out .
 

Soapweed

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lefty said:
I feed salt as a limiter in the winter time or have in the past . with soybean meal & mineral .We feed mostly native hay some is pretty ruff with salt & soybean in the mineral I can get much better intake on mineral than just a mineral mix in the bunk . the last year I did it I used dry distillers instead of soybeans It worked just fine . But not as a ration just free choise in bunk .

Once again free advice can be expensive ...

I was cutting some rippgut swamp hay one time , the neighbor stopped & asked me If you ever get that in a cow how would you get it out .

That's pretty funny. :) :) :)
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Vigortone's Forage Pro has a High salt content if I remember correctly. I have fed Canola meal with 30 % salt added free choice in tubs to my range cows out grazing native grass.
Remember salt and sodium are expressed differently of the feed tags.
 

littlejoe

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redrobin said:
littlejoe said:
Ya? You even eat anything salty? Did it make you thirsty?

You ever cut your finger and stick it in your mouth?

Did it taste salty?

You ever warm up any water?

Did it take any energy?

More properly, I should have said that the % of salt in mammals blood is similiar to salt levels in the oceans when life was beginning on earth.

Whatever---our blood contains perhaps 1% salt and our bodies will try to maintain that level.
Just for grins, what was the percentage of salt in ocean water "when life was beginning on earth" ?

Regarding the DDG limited with salt, I might see things your way if you can give specifics. You sound like you're quoting lick tub sales men for your source. Give us an example of actual costs if he's feeding salt limited ddg .

% of salt in ocean water when life was beginning was estimated to be around 1%. This according tol GrandPa. (and assorted earth scientists)

It's currently over 3%. (ocean water)

I am not the one who mentioned DDG--not located where I can get any.

I LOVE lick tubs! Handy, great way to get cattle up on knobs, underutilized forage, get mineral in them, etc. BUT--I rarely buy any. Too expensive for the amount of nutrients.

Nope, I rarely quote salesmen. More likely Ray Ansotegee (sp)

A cow has often got an 'excess' of body heat, generated thru digestive process. Will do fine eating snow,---but in Montana winters, there's days a fair amt of their ration goes just to keeping them warm---on our operation, they'll really hit the free choice barley straw then--half it's energy is given off as heat in the digestive process.

My main point was that if animal is eating a lot of salt, it's going to drink way more water, to keep system in balance. And if it's cold and there is not any 'surplus heat' available, much of the energy you've just gotten into them with your 'salt control' is going to be burnt up warming up the water they drank to water down the salt---that you put in to control the consumption of the energy that's being used to warm up the water......and round and round we go.......
 

Big Muddy rancher

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If the salt is controlling intake would they be getting that much more then they need?

Maybe farther south energy concerns aren't quite as important. :?
 

redrobin

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Not all scientists agree with your assessment.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/sodium-chloride-abiogenesis

The title of the thread is limiting ddg intake with salt. Barley has less energy than ddg ( I think) and considerably less protein so in a salt limited ration, it would be better than barley.
 

cowman52

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In the dark ages salt at 33 percent of ration will hold intake to about 3/4 to 1 pound per day-- i used ground milo, ground barley or ground corn-- not the best to use in heifers you want to keep-- lot of fat in udders- not to thepoint of no milk but reduced milk-- dairy have tried it years back and found using salt plus a filler worked a little better
 

LCP

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My main point was that if animal is eating a lot of salt, it's going to drink way more water, to keep system in balance. And if it's cold and there is not any 'surplus heat' available, much of the energy you've just gotten into them with your 'salt control' is going to be burnt up warming up the water they drank to water down the salt---that you put in to control the consumption of the energy that's being used to warm up the water......and round and round we go.......

Probably true to an extent. Thing is that I (and perhaps you too) don't know the net result without some math. If the DDG's (plus the free choice hay) are providing adequate energy for the growth I want while heating up the extra water, then there's no problem, right? Guess what I'm trying to say is, you might be right but I would like to see some numbers to back up your opinion.

My nutritionist will be stopping by next week, he's the one who suggested it. He's putting together some numbers for me, I'll try to post what he comes up with. I will be sure to ask about the energy balance you are getting at, littlejoe. Makes me curious too.
 

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Is your nutritionist selling any of your ingredients or working for any companies that are selling them? My thoughts on salt are different than most. In my experience any time I have seen anyone cut mineral with salt consumption is average based on a 2 oz/day allowance. It must be working then or is it? Just for argument sake lets say you are paying 1200/ton for mineral and 150 for salt. Are you paying 150 to control your mineral consumption or are you paying 1350/ton for salt. To get to the point, ever time I have been somewhere where the mineral was cut I have seperated the salt and mineral and fed both in seperate bunks. The salt is almost always cleaned up and mineral consumption is very little. I believe cattle will eat what they need, if you keep them in salt and mineral they will consume what they need, unless their is an additive to get them to consume more. For example look to see what the salt content on your existing mineral is. If it is say 25% and you pay 1500/ton for mineral you are paying 375/ton for salt. That is not very economical for me. I would think that if you want your cattle to consume more cut with salt. I am not a cattle feeder nor a nutritionist, I just am going off of observation.
 

littlejoe

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flyingS said:
Is your nutritionist selling any of your ingredients or working for any companies that are selling them? My thoughts on salt are different than most. In my experience any time I have seen anyone cut mineral with salt consumption is average based on a 2 oz/day allowance. It must be working then or is it? Just for argument sake lets say you are paying 1200/ton for mineral and 150 for salt. Are you paying 150 to control your mineral consumption or are you paying 1350/ton for salt. To get to the point, ever time I have been somewhere where the mineral was cut I have seperated the salt and mineral and fed both in seperate bunks. The salt is almost always cleaned up and mineral consumption is very little. I believe cattle will eat what they need, if you keep them in salt and mineral they will consume what they need, unless their is an additive to get them to consume more. For example look to see what the salt content on your existing mineral is. If it is say 25% and you pay 1500/ton for mineral you are paying 375/ton for salt. That is not very economical for me. I would think that if you want your cattle to consume more cut with salt. I am not a cattle feeder nor a nutritionist, I just am going off of observation.

My experiences with mineral are similar---but I don't think cattle will eat what they need. I think they'll eat salt, maybe chew on bones, wood--'depraved appetite' more when they are short something.

But I think most mineral tastes bad---shoot, consumption in some was somethat controlled with phosphorus, which is bitter. I think with mineral, they gotta put something in as an attractant---salt, molasas, grain---to get them to eat it---then something for control----perhaps salt again, phos, or making blocks or tubs hard?

I dunno. I want my cattle to eat mineral, don't really have $$ to burn, but still would prefer too much consumption to too little.

I don't like blocks---get what you need and move on. I lmix loose salt and mineral---sometimes 50-50, sometimes 2-1---this spring they been eating it like crazy.
 

George

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In my opinion saying cattle will eat what they need and move on is like saying children will eat the candy and Ice cream they need and move on.

I believe if they are so deprived of minerals then something is better than nothing but lets get real we don't eat what is best for us and we should know better. I will stick with a good program and if you don't that make it better for me as I should be more efficient and should have a higher proffit margin and hopefully I will be able to support my family and expand my operation for the grand kids.
 

lefty

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ddg is a pretty hot feed on its own 22% protien or so it could be an expensive test if things go wrong . The salt ,calories , water & energy thing is interesting food for thought .
 

flyingS

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George it's a good thing cattle don't have the ability to produce junk food and neither does mother nature. Comparing human consumption to animal consumption is like comparing apples and oranges, they're just not the same. Our society today has proven that you can live on the crap, and I have never heard anyone complain about obesity in their cow herd. It is a proven fact cattle are selective. Why did you start cutting your mineral, because dad told you to or becuase the feed salesman told you, you had to. What you have just said is that you have to have salt in mineral to get cows to eat it not limit their intake. It doesn't make sense to force them to eat something that cost 1200/ton so they can eat something that cost 150/ton. I never said quit feeding mineral, I said seperate the Two and see what happens. Have you ever had your grass tested for mineral content, see how it compares to their requirements.
 

WVGenetics

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lefty said:
ddg is a pretty hot feed on its own 22% protien or so it could be an expensive test if things go wrong . The salt ,calories , water & energy thing is interesting food for thought .

High % protein but not high quality protein and even then a lot of it is undigestible even for the rumen microbes...a result of the heating and refinement process.

LCP

Salt is a perfectly acceptable method for limiting feed intake. It works on the same principle as most intake limiters, anti-palatibility, which occurs when levels are high enough. Yes, water intake will increase, but the idea is to limit the DDG supplement intake, which is used to provide supplemental protein and some energy, which in turn produces a more efficient digestion of the forage. Sound practice backed up by sound science.
 

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