Minerals!!

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C-Ranch

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This is what I made to feed mineral in and keep it dry. It will hold 3 50lb bags. Cows and and bulls rub on them with no issues. I put out two barrels per 50 head and can move them from field to field as needed with side x side or truck. Simple and cheap to make.
 

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snoopdog

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Was just going to do a search on this subject, a lot learned. I like the homemade feeders, but bought 2 of the round rubber flap ones this spring, mounted them on skids, and have reduced my waste quite a bit. Anybody ever use the Riomax products? Mineral is our second highest input, and if we could combine that with a protein supplement for late summer/ mid winter feeding I believe it would be a win. But I'm pretty skeptical about most claims.
 

wbvs58

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I like to keep mineral supp as mineral supp, no attractants. If they need it they will seek it out. I find adding protein to it is insufficient to have any effect and is just a marketing ploy. Here I can buy one with 50% copra meal for an additional $5 a bag and only get half of my mineral and that amount of protein meal has negligible effect.

Ken
 

snoopdog

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I like to keep mineral supp as mineral supp, no attractants. If they need it they will seek it out. I find adding protein to it is insufficient to have any effect and is just a marketing ploy. Here I can buy one with 50% copra meal for an additional $5 a bag and only get half of my mineral and that amount of protein meal has negligible effect.

Ken
I'm curious, as to how aggressive your stocking rate is, we're aggressive and I was wanting to use it as a tool for the least grazed areas, maybe.
 

wbvs58

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I'm curious, as to how aggressive your stocking rate is, we're aggressive and I was wanting to use it as a tool for the least grazed areas, maybe.
I am on fairly difficult country, a lot of scrub and rocky areas, my open areas I guess I am fairly aggressive with grazing over summer. I do use protein supplements when things are tough, copra meal, soyabean meal, cottonseed meal, canola meal just depends on what is best protein for the money at the time. I buy a couple of tonne at a time and feed with a little grain daily in troughs in my scrub country to encourage them to chase the poorer quality grasses amongst the trees and rocks. Mineral is available to them in seperate feeder away from the feed troughs.

Ken
 

faster horses

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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.
I reread this, I need to change it to 85-90% breed up in 21 days. One heat cycle. Missed that the first time, sorry!
 

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