I’m shocked you had to talk to so many people to figure out you had copper deficiency. That was in multiple 100 level classes at college. I mix my own mineral for the range with a small cement mixer. I was having retained placentas, and needed more magnesium in my mineral than what companies had in there offerings. I reversed engineered my mineral with more premium ingredients, and doing the math I was shocked at the mineral companies profit margins.I like your post and I can tell you "it's worth it."
I still have my first customer from 1994. He's not in it to buy mineral as the "thing" to do.
My customers are pretty much from SE Montana. They use mineral because it makes them money, not because they like me.
One customer told me "when doing my taxes, my accountant noted that the mineral column was quite long, but the veterinary column was quite empty." Producers are getting older and who has the time or inclination to have to doctor sick cattle? Feeding a quality mineral keeps cattle healthy. We went from doctoring 95% of our calves, and many more than once, BEFORE we got on a mineral program. From there we went to basically doctoring nothing. At the most we bought the smallest bottle of antibiotic and wound up throwing some of it away because it got old. Our customers report doing the same.
85-90% breed up in 45 days is not uncommon. One customer only keeps bull with his replacement heifers for 22 days. He sells very few opens.
Simme, you said "red tinged hair". We had that big time. We tried everything to figure out why. No one had the answer; not veterinarians, not feed salesmen, not universities, not county agents. I contacted them all. No one knew. We even moved across Montana to try and help ourselves. We were about to quit. Long story short, the Vigortone mineral Area Sales Manger came and he knew immediately what was wrong. The 'red tinged hair' is a sign of copper deficiency and we had it big time. We got on the mineral program and changed our life. Those pictures he took that day are used in a before and after slide show. What an eye opener.
One more thing, if you don't feed mineral, you are walking a tightrope and anything could make you fall. That's what happened to us. We bought some registered cows that calved the end of January. The first cow that calved in that bunch, the calf got sick and from then on 95% of our calves got sick and had to be doctored; many more than once. They had no immune system. Believe me when I say, mineral enhances immune system of cattle. We also found out later, like 5 years later, from John Patterson at MSU, that they had done testing where we were and there were sulfates in the water, which ties up copper and zinc. So, those cows we bought brought something in. We were NOT on a mineral program and the calves got sick. That went on for 8 years! We were about to quit; but we moved. First calving season at the new place, the calves got sick. From getting a high fever, then they would get sours, diptheria, over-eating, pneumonia, they got anything and everything. We were devastated. So the next year 1994, we were introduced to Vigortone mineral. What a difference that made and it made it that same year. We were never without it since.
This is a testimony and meant as such. Sorry it got so lengthy.