sim.-ang.king wrote:Bovatec or Rumensin?
Wow, couldn't you have given me an easier question to start off with?
There are a lot of different facets to this question (receiving cattle, feedlot cattle, stockers, and cows) I will try & explain my thoughts on them all. For the record the old school thinking has always been Rumensin on high concentrate diets, bovatec on high roughage diets.
Backgrounder/Receiving diets-Rumensin will reduce dry matter intake, and is known to be unpalatable, unlike Bovatec it is NOT approved by the FDA to be fed in combination with CTC. Because of this, if I was a backgrounder I would choose Bovatec over rumensin. Yes it is slightly more expensive, but if the cattle get up to the bunk & eat better it will be worth it. Some people will still choose rumesin because its cheaper (but they won't feed it until the cattle are starting to get up on feed). In most instances the rumesin is mixed in with the mineral, so they also didn't feed mineral for the first 3-5 days! Minerals are very important for vaccines to work, so you want it in the diet ASAP. I think Bovatec in these types of situations has more advantages than rumensin.
Feedlot cattle-Rumenisn, not really any debate here.
Stockers- BV here again, only one approved to be fed with CTC & if your vet will let you put it in, CTC is your best friend on grass cattle. If you can't feed CTC then I would still probably suggest BV (but that's not exactly what I might do
). The one thing about RU in a free choice mineral is they don't eat it very well because its unpalatable (in my experience it cuts intake in 1/2)
Cows-This is one area most cow-calf producers are missing out, I think like only 5-10% of cows are on Ru? (BV is not approved to fed to pregnant females) I don't think I would feed RU year round (I would leave it out of my free-choice mineral before & during breeding because I want to make sure they are eating the recommend amount of mineral). If i'm feeding the cows with the mixer wagon its be nice sure going to be in there. RU improves feed efficiency & kills cocci. Most years the improved feed efficiency will more than pay for the RU (and in some years it might pay for the entire mineral package), then less cocci to boot, big win! If I had a custom mineral I would play with the level of sweetener in the mineral until I was satisfied with intake, then I might even feed it year round. Also some mineral companies may not do this because ionospheres are supposed to be force fed. The company I worked for just put "force feed at this level each day" and sold it anyway. Most companies in the area I worked in seemed to do that. Only one wouldn't do it.
Disclaimer- This is only my opinion. This is not advice.