Minerals

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What kind of minerals do you use for your beef cows? I go back and forth between wind and rain which is $25-$30 a bad and a cheep bag for $10. Is the more expensive worth the money?
 

SBMF 2015

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Wind and Rain is worth every penny. Compare the labels. Salt is cheap, calcium and phosphorus are more expensive.

When our local feed mill changed owners they quit carrying wind and rain, pushing their mix instead. One year on there min, we lost 13 calves out of 190 cows. The calves were week, unthrifty. The cows would go into labor, get two feet out and quit pushing. I pulled more calves that year than 20years total. Mineral is the only thing we changed. We found a new feed mill, went back to using Wind and Rain and the problem went away.
Mineral is not the place I would cut corners on.
 

sstterry

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A former member here swore by Vitaferm. He said that it was more bioavailable than most other brands. It is also more pricey. I tend to believe what he said because he was trained in science. Do I use it, no. I don't want to drive 50miles to the nearest dealer to me.
 

WFfarm

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We use Wind and Rain. Buy it by the pallet and get 5% discount, split with a couple neighbors. 5% doesn't seam like much but it adds up to about $2/bag and we go thru a bag a week.
 

Dave

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I use Wind and Rain because it stays available until they use it. The brand the neighbor uses turns to concrete when it gets wet. I have used minerals like that in the past. No more.
 

simme

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A former member here swore by Vitaferm. He said that it was more bioavailable than most other brands. It is also more pricey. I tend to believe what he said because he was trained in science. Do I use it, no. I don't want to drive 50miles to the nearest dealer to me.
I believe that former member used the Vitaferm ConceptAid mineral. There are many mineral brands (some highly advertised) that are not locally available and you may find that a dealer that is 50 miles away does not stock all versions or much quantity of the product.
Minerals seem to be sort of like politics and religion. Lots of strongly held opinions with a wide range of thoughts. Many are convinced their favorite is the only way to go and it might be for their conditions. Others may not have found that same particular brand/product to be useful to them. Fed minerals are a supplement to the minerals in the forage, feed and hay the animals are getting. I believe the real mineral needs for a particular farm may depend on what is already in (or missing in) the grass and hay and feed. Could be a regional thing or could differ based on the fertilizer program. In my area, there are a lot of chicken houses. That litter goes on pastures and crop land. It is high in phosphorus. The nitrogen in the litter is like the nitrogen in chemical fertilizers - it has a fairly short life in the soil. The P and K and trace elements like zinc remain in the soil a long time - like a bank. But may not be balanced for cattle needs. The litter is a cheap source of nitrogen here so farmers apply it based on nitrogen needs. The excess P and K and trace elements in the soil then build to very high levels. So the mineral supplement needs of the cows eating forages from those pastures and hay fields may be different. Hay from land that has many years of litter tend to contribute to winter tetany. Usually grass tetany is an early spring issue, but can occur here in the winter when cattle are mostly on hay due to imbalance in the hay. Point is that mineral requirements vary based on many factors. There is not one solution for all.
Some people feed very cheap or no minerals and seem to do OK for years. Then suddenly they have problems with calving, retained placenta, vigor in the calves, overall herd health. And then get on a mineral program that seems to resolve those issues. Direct cause and effect? Maybe. But they may later again decide that mineral is too expensive and slack off and seem to be OK for several more years until history repeats. Seems to be complicated.
Some people pay a nutritionist for consulting on their program. Dr. Steve Blezinger from Texas is one such person. He was a regular contributor to the Cattle Today news magazine when it was published.
Grass and hay sampling/analysis may be helpful. As well as bloodwork on some of the cattle. People go to their doctor, get blood work and get recommendations for vitamins, supplements and general nutrition. Might be worthwhile for cattle.
Just my rambling opinion. Take it for what it cost. I could be wrong. :)

 

kenny thomas

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A former member here swore by Vitaferm. He said that it was more bioavailable than most other brands. It is also more pricey. I tend to believe what he said because he was trained in science. Do I use it, no. I don't want to drive 50miles to the nearest dealer to me.
I thought driving 50 miles was a big deal also before I started delivering Kiefer Trailers. Find something that you want to see in that area and go the 50 miles if they have what you need. I drove 1450 miles Friday night, Saturdays and Saturday night. Your too young to let a few miles stop you being satisfied with what you are buying
 

TDM

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A former member here swore by Vitaferm. He said that it was more bioavailable than most other brands. It is also more pricey. I tend to believe what he said because he was trained in science. Do I use it, no. I don't want to drive 50miles to the nearest dealer to me.
Absolutely right. Been using vitaferm for almost a decade now. Conception rates have really paid for the extra cost.. Went from selling 10 to 12 percent opens to selling 2 to 5 percent open and 10 percent pairs every year. Doesnt take long to pencil it out with the added income from selling pairs vs. Opens.
 

Nkline

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Wind and Rain is worth every penny. Compare the labels. Salt is cheap, calcium and phosphorus are more expensive.

When our local feed mill changed owners they quit carrying wind and rain, pushing their mix instead. One year on there min, we lost 13 calves out of 190 cows. The calves were week, unthrifty. The cows would go into labor, get two feet out and quit pushing. I pulled more calves that year than 20years total. Mineral is the only thing we changed. We found a new feed mill, went back to using Wind and Rain and the problem went away.
Mineral is not the place I would cut corners on.
Calcium carbonate (limestone), is cheap like salt. Dicalcium phosphate is cheaper and has more Florine(bad) than monocalcium phosphate.
 

sstterry

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I thought driving 50 miles was a big deal also before I started delivering Kiefer Trailers. Find something that you want to see in that area and go the 50 miles if they have what you need. I drove 1450 miles Friday night, Saturdays and Saturday night. Your too young to let a few miles stop you being satisfied with what you are buying
But I don't want to go on a sightseeing tour every time I run out of minerals.
 

FungusProudKY31

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I believe that former member used the Vitaferm ConceptAid mineral. There are many mineral brands (some highly advertised) that are not locally available and you may find that a dealer that is 50 miles away does not stock all versions or much quantity of the product.
Minerals seem to be sort of like politics and religion. Lots of strongly held opinions with a wide range of thoughts. Many are convinced their favorite is the only way to go and it might be for their conditions. Others may not have found that same particular brand/product to be useful to them. Fed minerals are a supplement to the minerals in the forage, feed and hay the animals are getting. I believe the real mineral needs for a particular farm may depend on what is already in (or missing in) the grass and hay and feed. Could be a regional thing or could differ based on the fertilizer program. In my area, there are a lot of chicken houses. That litter goes on pastures and crop land. It is high in phosphorus. The nitrogen in the litter is like the nitrogen in chemical fertilizers - it has a fairly short life in the soil. The P and K and trace elements like zinc remain in the soil a long time - like a bank. But may not be balanced for cattle needs. The litter is a cheap source of nitrogen here so farmers apply it based on nitrogen needs. The excess P and K and trace elements in the soil then build to very high levels. So the mineral supplement needs of the cows eating forages from those pastures and hay fields may be different. Hay from land that has many years of litter tend to contribute to winter tetany. Usually grass tetany is an early spring issue, but can occur here in the winter when cattle are mostly on hay due to imbalance in the hay. Point is that mineral requirements vary based on many factors. There is not one solution for all.
Some people feed very cheap or no minerals and seem to do OK for years. Then suddenly they have problems with calving, retained placenta, vigor in the calves, overall herd health. And then get on a mineral program that seems to resolve those issues. Direct cause and effect? Maybe. But they may later again decide that mineral is too expensive and slack off and seem to be OK for several more years until history repeats. Seems to be complicated.
Some people pay a nutritionist for consulting on their program. Dr. Steve Blezinger from Texas is one such person. He was a regular contributor to the Cattle Today news magazine when it was published.
Grass and hay sampling/analysis may be helpful. As well as bloodwork on some of the cattle. People go to their doctor, get blood work and get recommendations for vitamins, supplements and general nutrition. Might be worthwhile for cattle.
Just my rambling opinion. Take it for what it cost. I could be wrong. :)

We use and have used litter. With plenty of P in the soil we use a custom blend mineral with no P. Saves dollars and balances the nutrition.
 

gcreekrch

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We use and have used litter. With plenty of P in the soil we use a custom blend mineral with no P. Saves dollars and balances the nutrition.
Same here, our custom blend is far cheaper than the other brands offered here and supplements our own needs.
 

sim.-ang.king

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A former member here swore by Vitaferm. He said that it was more bioavailable than most other brands. It is also more pricey. I tend to believe what he said because he was trained in science. Do I use it, no. I don't want to drive 50miles to the nearest dealer to me.
Look for wind and rain all season with avil 4 in your preferred % of phosphorus. It will be the same thing without the magic pixie dust.
 

Farmgirl

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Have used just about every kind of mineral there is at one time or another. Vitaferm, Vigortone, W & R. Really like the W & R. Seems to do the job. Cheaper than some of the others and doesn't harden up on moisture like some of the others.

Really like the feeder that has the rubber flap top. Took the cows a while to figure it out but it really protects the mineral from the elements. Easy to move with rotational grazing.

Use the barrel hanging from a tree feeder too. A pretty good inexpensive option.
 

Banjo

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Have used just about every kind of mineral there is at one time or another. Vitaferm, Vigortone, W & R. Really like the W & R. Seems to do the job. Cheaper than some of the others and doesn't harden up on moisture like some of the others.

Really like the feeder that has the rubber flap top. Took the cows a while to figure it out but it really protects the mineral from the elements. Easy to move with rotational grazing.

Use the barrel hanging from a tree feeder too. A pretty good inexpensive option.
Until the flaps develops cracks from the constant bending....replacing the flap is almost as expensive as the whole feeder. Wind and Rain works well in a regular bunk feeder allowing more cows access at once.
 

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