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Free Choice Mineral

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poorfarmer

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I was wondering if anyone has ever had a similiar experience. So I was recently price checking at some of my local feed mills to see if I might be able to cut some of my input costs. I found a free choice mineral which seemed to have pretty similar ingredients as my current brand, but was about $4 a bag cheaper, so decided to give it a try. So I started putting out the new mineral to my cows and the next day it was gone. Alright, I think great, they like it and maybe they are catching up on some nutrient they were lacking, and just for reference the bag recommended 3-4 ounces per cow per day. In order for the herd to finish it off in one day each cow would have eaten about 14 ounces. Ok I put out another bag, the next day it is all gone again. This goes on for five straight days. So at this point I leave the feeder empty for a day and put a bag of my old mineral back out just to see the difference. That bag has lasted 4 days at this point. So here is my question do you think some mineral brands market their product cheaper but make it more palatable leading to more consumption and more sales?
 

dun

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Some mineral mixes use salt as a deterent to eating too much and others use salt as an encouragment to eat it. I would look at the salt percentage of the 2 and see if there is a big difference.
 

slick4591

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I've been feeding the VitaFerm product for a good while. I had to buy a bag of Purina Wind and Rain at the first of the summer because no one around here could get VitaFerm. My cows hardly touched it. I found a bag of Vitaferm a couple of weeks ago and ended up dumping probably half a bag of the Purina on the ground. My group made a big dent in the VitaFerm the first couple of days.
 

TexasBred

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Formulation a mineral and getting it not only balanced but palatable is a very fine balancing act. A little bit of sweetener might not be enough, increase it just a little bit and they overconsume it. I've been feeding the Purina mineral for a couple of years with no problem getting adequate consumption. Never have tried the Vitaferm but understand it's a very good mineral. I notice they use corn gluten feed to make it more palatable. That might be the secret in this case. Just too many factors come into play when determining the "why" of consumption to place all the blame or credit on one thing.
 
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poorfarmer

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Well I am switching back, was looking to switch if all ended up being equal, but wouldn't be able to afford the amount they were consuming of the new brand and the old brand has worked fine for us. New lower cost mineral would end up costing me way more with the consumption discrepancy between the two.
 

pdfangus

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is the consumption rate of the original mineral in line with the recommended consumption or is the old mineral somewhat unpalatable?

best balanced mineral in the world is useless if the cows won't eat it until they are desperate...
 

BC

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Dun and Texasbred have given some great ideas to look into. I also agree with PDFAngus that if the cows don't eat the mineral it is not doing them much good.
 

kilroy60

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One thing I have learned and witnessed about mineral intake is salt consumption. One of the things that cows crave is salt. So, if you're keeping out salt blocks, the cattle may not take in as much minerals as needed. I don't use any salt when using loose minerals. If I use a mineral tub, then I put out salt. The Purina mineral tubs that I use have no salt in them. That's just my two cents for what it's worth.
 

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