Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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shaz
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby shaz » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:14 am

TSC sells a mineral called Wind & Rain that may be worth looking at but, like Ala Cowman said, Coop surely has what you need.

One thing I've noticed is that you can't predict mineral consumption. Just check it every other day and have another bag or 2 ready.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby ALACOWMAN » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:01 pm

Mine will wear the minerals out,,after rains...the drier the forage the less they consume.,,during the summer months... I've went through the minerals this year..which is good..the clover has been growing all year...ordinarily I'd backed off the high mag. Already..
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby snoopdog » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:44 pm

Consumption has slowed here also , but it's dry.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby Silver » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:42 am

Son of Butch wrote:By definition it's a salt block with only a trace of mineral.
Because of the high salt content, block consumption is very low and the trace of minerals received becomes barely
a trace. As for 'any value' about 50 cents max per 50 lb block vs white salt.
Bottom line: mineral value added is so little it's considered negligible and disregarded when formulating rations.


There is a difference between "a trace of mineral" and "trace minerals" Trace mineral by definition includes : copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), and selenium (Se) and are usually required only in amounts measured in parts per million.
Loose mineral generally contain trace minerals but the bulk of it will contain such things as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulfur. And salt.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby TexasBred » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:01 pm

Silver wrote:
Son of Butch wrote:By definition it's a salt block with only a trace of mineral.
Because of the high salt content, block consumption is very low and the trace of minerals received becomes barely
a trace. As for 'any value' about 50 cents max per 50 lb block vs white salt.
Bottom line: mineral value added is so little it's considered negligible and disregarded when formulating rations.


There is a difference between "a trace of mineral" and "trace minerals" Trace mineral by definition includes : copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), and selenium (Se) and are usually required only in amounts measured in parts per million.
Loose mineral generally contain trace minerals but the bulk of it will contain such things as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulfur. And salt.

Let's just use the word "minerals" for simplicity. All should be in a good mineral at a beneficial level, all should be balanced to reduce one being antagonistic to the action of another, all should be in a form that can be easily utilized by the cattle. All listed above are trace minerals. Some micro, some macro but all minerals. For all practical purposes a trace mineral salt block is a salt block. It just happens to have about a half a day's supply of trace mineral in the entire block and most of that is red iron oxide to give it color and make you feel good about your purchase.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby ALACOWMAN » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:46 pm

There's truth in that...you try and sell something like a cleaner that's a clear liquid.. Folks are afraid it won't be strong enough..so the companies will add colors to em...
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby Nesikep » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:57 pm

TexasBred wrote:Amazes me how many people won't think twice about paying $50 for a winter's supply of junky a%% worthless hay then choke over $25-30 bags of mineral that might be exactly what they need to make a successful cattle operation.

I can't sharpen a pencil fine enough to see how spending 2x $35 (per 50lb bag) per cow on mineral alone per cow can EVER pay.. same goes for lick tubs... I get one for my heifers every fall, but I'd be flat out broke if the cows ever had to have it.. 4 heifer calves eat $150 worth in a winter, the herd of cows would eat that every week
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby Silver » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:01 pm

TexasBred wrote:Let's just use the word "minerals" for simplicity. All should be in a good mineral at a beneficial level, all should be balanced to reduce one being antagonistic to the action of another, all should be in a form that can be easily utilized by the cattle. All listed above are trace minerals. Some micro, some macro but all minerals. For all practical purposes a trace mineral salt block is a salt block. It just happens to have about a half a day's supply of trace mineral in the entire block and most of that is red iron oxide to give it color and make you feel good about your purchase.


You are of course quite welcome to lump trace minerals together with mineral. And it could well be that in your particular situation that TM salt provides only 1/2 a days worth of trace mineral for your animals well being (is there not a half days worth in the feed they are getting?). It could also be entirely possible that for others the available trace minerals in TM salt are adequate to top off their animals needs.
It seems to me that many people feed loose mineral because they know their feed is lacking, because conception rates are low, or because herd health is not optimum. But if these problems are not present and excellent feed or forage is available at all times (and I know this is the exception rather than the rule) I have to wonder why one would choose to go to the added expense of feeding more that TM salt?
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby cjmc » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:22 pm

Silver wrote:
TexasBred wrote:Let's just use the word "minerals" for simplicity. All should be in a good mineral at a beneficial level, all should be balanced to reduce one being antagonistic to the action of another, all should be in a form that can be easily utilized by the cattle. All listed above are trace minerals. Some micro, some macro but all minerals. For all practical purposes a trace mineral salt block is a salt block. It just happens to have about a half a day's supply of trace mineral in the entire block and most of that is red iron oxide to give it color and make you feel good about your purchase.


You are of course quite welcome to lump trace minerals together with mineral. And it could well be that in your particular situation that TM salt provides only 1/2 a days worth of trace mineral for your animals well being (is there not a half days worth in the feed they are getting?). It could also be entirely possible that for others the available trace minerals in TM salt are adequate to top off their animals needs.
It seems to me that many people feed loose mineral because they know their feed is lacking, because conception rates are low, or because herd health is not optimum. But if these problems are not present and excellent feed or forage is available at all times (and I know this is the exception rather than the rule) I have to wonder why one would choose to go to the added expense of feeding more that TM salt?


Is it possible TM salt fills the gaps and gets cattle to their mineral requirements? Sure, I suppose anything is possible. Is it likely in most scenarios? Absolutely not. I would actually say its likely not to fill the gaps in almost all scenarios. TM salt has two major faults-the first being it just flat out doesn't have enough mineral in it, the second being intake. One could even say it has a third fault being that none of the minerals in it are organic, but two faults is good enough in my book to say TM blocks aren't very good.

In the following example I'm going to compare a 4oz mineral that is formulated to meet the animals requirements without considering anything from her diet. And then compare that to a block I found from TSC's website. I will only be comparing copper because I don't want to do the math on all the minerals in the block and because once you read thought the example and see the math we can all safely assume the blocks don't supply enough minerals.

In a bag of mineral designed to meet the animals copper requirement at an intake rate of 4 oz/hd/d it should have 1600 ppm. If the cow consumes 4 oz every day she will have consumed enough mineral to meet her copper requirement. Whatever she consumes for forage will be extra. The TSC block I saw had 300 pmm of copper in it or 18.75 % of the requirement IF she consumed 4 oz/day. Which brings us to the second major fault-Intake. To get 100% of her copper requirement she would have to eat 1.25 POUNDS/day!!! That is obviously never going to happen. I'm GUESSING here, but I bet if you did the math intake on those blocks would average-2oz/h/d?? Using 2 oz intake that brings her copper intake to 9.375% of requirement.

Now that we know copper intake on these blocks is only roughly 10% of requirements I think its fairly safe to assume that it doesn't supply very much Cobalt, Iodine, zinc, manganese, selenium or vitamins either so I don't really need to do the math to show it. Is it possible your ranch sits on top of a copper mine and you don't need any extra copper? Sure, is it likely you don't need much copper, cobalt, Iodine, zinc, manganese, selenium or vitamins. No it is not, it is very likely one or more of those ingredients in your area is severely lacking and your cattle would benefit from a mineral program of some kind (that's better than TM blocks).
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby Silver » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:40 pm

cjmc wrote:Sure, is it likely you don't need much copper, cobalt, Iodine, zinc, manganese, selenium or vitamins. No it is not, it is very likely one or more of those ingredients in your area is severely lacking and your cattle would benefit from a mineral program of some kind (that's better than TM blocks).


So without knowing my ranch and seeing my cattle you can tell me they are mineral deficient? That's an amazing talent.
If I understand you, you think that despite breeding in the forest and a conception rate over 96 percent, less than industry average death loss, higher than average weaning weights and excellent herd health, my herd which you have never seen is less healthy than yours and giving another $90 per head of inputs annually will solve a bunch of problems I don't have? Sold! :dunce:
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby Silver » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:57 pm

Also, according to the charts, recommended Copper intake is 2,000 - 3,000 mg/kg

As per Gov't of Alberta agriculture website:

Table 4 should help in deciding if a salt is a good source of supplementary trace elements. Compare your salt mix to this table and if your salt falls within the range shown, chances are it will meet the needs of the cattle when eaten at 42 g/head/day, the expected free choice intake of loose salt. It is best, of course, not to guess. Feed testing is a quick and inexpensive way to determine what your situation is. Private feed labs and Alberta Agriculture offer analysis for most of these trace elements.

So, without sitting on a copper mine, it turns out perhaps copper requirements can be met with TM salt.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby cjmc » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:01 pm

Silver wrote:
cjmc wrote:Sure, is it likely you don't need much copper, cobalt, Iodine, zinc, manganese, selenium or vitamins. No it is not, it is very likely one or more of those ingredients in your area is severely lacking and your cattle would benefit from a mineral program of some kind (that's better than TM blocks).


So without knowing my ranch and seeing my cattle you can tell me they are mineral deficient? That's an amazing talent.
If I understand you, you think that despite breeding in the forest and a conception rate over 96 percent, less than industry average death loss, higher than average weaning weights and excellent herd health, my herd which you have never seen is less healthy than yours and giving another $90 per head of inputs annually will solve a bunch of problems I don't have? Sold! :dunce:

I sure can! Its a superpower i have. I call it "the ability to balance probabilities"

I only used copper as an example, i'm sure their are areas of the world that probably don't need it. My point was that seeing how much copper TM salt blocks provide its obvious they aren't very mineral dense and therefore its likely at least one mineral would be deficient if that's all you were using. But none the less i enjoy being right, so lets dive into it.

Since you are quoting Alberta's website lets go take a look at what they have to say about minerals...

Zinc- More than 90 percent of the feed grown in Alberta is considerably lower in zinc than the 50 ppm suggested minimum; in fact, most feeds contain only half of the amount suggested for cattle.
Manganese-The majority of the feed grown in Alberta is inadequate in manganese.
Selenium- The selenium content of feeds grown in Alberta is quite variable and ranges from levels as low as one-tenth of that required by cattle to levels that are many times what animals require.
Iodine- The level of iodine in forages in Alberta is low and supplementation is necessary.

And that's only 4 of them! We didn't get into Ca, P, their ratio, K, Mag, Sulfur, or vitamins. So yeah, I can still 600 miles away and say, its highly likely your cattle are mineral deficient if they don't consume any free choice mineral.

Now lets get back to copper and TM salt blocks. Problem one- according to you & Canada. Mineral should have 2,000-3,000 mg/kg of copper. THE TRACTOR SUPPLY BLOCK HAD 300!!! If you are doing the math that's 15% of the suggested minimal level. If your mineral has 2,000-3,000 mg/kg in it, well that's an actual mineral program and not a TM salt block that is found at a tractor supply near you. Also I guessed the intake of salt blocks BECAUSE its a block and not in loose form. Two oz/h/d of intake in a TM salt block is probably very generous. If you want to say intake is only 1 oz/h/d you now drop the copper intake form the block to 4.6875% of requirement.

Finally, the poster is in the good old USA where mineral programs aren't $90/h. A good one can be as cheap as $30, but is typically in the $40-50 range.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby callmefence » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:11 pm

cjmc wrote:
Silver wrote:
cjmc wrote:Sure, is it likely you don't need much copper, cobalt, Iodine, zinc, manganese, selenium or vitamins. No it is not, it is very likely one or more of those ingredients in your area is severely lacking and your cattle would benefit from a mineral program of some kind (that's better than TM blocks).


So without knowing my ranch and seeing my cattle you can tell me they are mineral deficient? That's an amazing talent.
If I understand you, you think that despite breeding in the forest and a conception rate over 96 percent, less than industry average death loss, higher than average weaning weights and excellent herd health, my herd which you have never seen is less healthy than yours and giving another $90 per head of inputs annually will solve a bunch of problems I don't have? Sold! :dunce:

I sure can! Its a superpower i have. I call it "the ability to balance probabilities"

I only used copper as an example, i'm sure their are areas of the world that probably don't need it. My point was that seeing how much copper TM salt blocks provide its obvious they aren't very mineral dense and therefore its likely at least one mineral would be deficient if that's all you were using. But none the less i enjoy being right, so lets dive into it.

Since you are quoting Alberta's website lets go take a look at what they have to say about minerals...

Zinc- More than 90 percent of the feed grown in Alberta is considerably lower in zinc than the 50 ppm suggested minimum; in fact, most feeds contain only half of the amount suggested for cattle.
Manganese-The majority of the feed grown in Alberta is inadequate in manganese.
Selenium- The selenium content of feeds grown in Alberta is quite variable and ranges from levels as low as one-tenth of that required by cattle to levels that are many times what animals require.
Iodine- The level of iodine in forages in Alberta is low and supplementation is necessary.

And that's only 4 of them! We didn't get into Ca, P, their ratio, K, Mag, Sulfur, or vitamins. So yeah, I can still 600 miles away and say, its highly likely your cattle are mineral deficient if they don't consume any free choice mineral.

Now lets get back to copper and TM salt blocks. Problem one- according to you & Canada. Mineral should have 2,000-3,000 mg/kg of copper. THE TRACTOR SUPPLY BLOCK HAD 300!!! If you are doing the math that's 15% of the suggested minimal level. If your mineral has 2,000-3,000 mg/kg in it, well that's an actual mineral program and not a TM salt block that is found at a tractor supply near you. Also I guessed the intake of salt blocks BECAUSE its a block and not in loose form. Two oz/h/d of intake in a TM salt block is probably very generous. If you want to say intake is only 1 oz/h/d you now drop the copper intake form the block to 4.6875% of requirement.

Finally, the poster is in the good old USA where mineral programs aren't $90/h. A good one can be as cheap as $30, but is typically in the $40-50 range.


Your regurgitating something you read on the internet. You know nothing of silvers cattle.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby cjmc » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:50 pm

[/quote]

Your regurgitating something you read on the internet. You know nothing of silvers cattle.[/quote]

Knowing his cattle is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if his cattle are black, white, or the best in the world. The original poster asked if TM salt blocks were of any value. I went trough the math showing how little mineral they supplied thus showing that it is very unlikely cattle consuming those blocks would meet all their vitamin and mineral requirements, and therefore probably not worth using. Silver then proceeded to imply his cattle were not mineral deficient/he only needed blocks like the ones we were talking about. He then used Alberta agriculture website as a source about how I was wrong about copper (which i wasn't that website just suggested supplementing a level other than 100% of the requirement). So i then went to that website and cut and pasted them saying the majority of Canada was deficient in copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, and Iodine and cattle needed those minerals supplement, thus showing (using his source) that I can say with a high degree of probability his cattle are deficient in at LEAST ONE vitamin or mineral. Would a $90 mineral program help his bottom line? No idea, I never said it would. I only said blocks like the ones at TSC aren't very good.
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Re: Generic Trace Mineral Blocks

Postby Silver » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:12 am

cjmc wrote:I sure can! Its a superpower i have. I call it "the ability to balance probabilities"


Well, you should give that up, it makes you look foolish.
The fact of the matter is that if you don't know what a person is short of or isn't short of in their feed you CAN NOT say what they do or do not need as a supplement. Therefore you can not say for certain whether or not cattle could get what they may need from TM salt. All your figuring is pointless without the only facts that matter: what cows presently getting.

Make no mistake, if my cattle showed any sign of mineral deficiency they would get mineral. I am simply not willing to fix something that aint broken, and I think people need to question just exactly what they give their cattle and why, not just pour money into input because some character claiming super powers told them it was necessary.
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