Minerals. Are they needed?

Cattle problems.
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Bright Raven
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Bright Raven » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:23 pm

angus9259 wrote:I have not proven to myself minerals are of any value. Cattle seemed healthy with them - they seemed healthy without. They have issues with them, they have issues without.

I put them out because smart people tell me I should but I have no proof they are right.


I appreciate that observation. It is impractical to conduct our own research to determine what benefits our livestock. Therefore, we rely on the state of the art practices that "smart" people tell us to use.

I suspect there is profound value in using minerals. Obviously, you would not doubt the years of evidence associated with the occurrence of grass tetany. I also think copper, selenium and most of the other elements are beneficial for physiology and reproduction.

I think your point is a demonstration of the impracticality of proving to yourself that the minerals have a specific observable effect.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Nesikep » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:37 pm

angus, it is possible that your area just HAPPENS to be pretty balanced..
What I can say for sure is I have had ZERO cases of retained placenta in 4 years since I have correct selenium levels.. that's worth something to me
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby angus9259 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:34 am

Nesikep wrote:angus, it is possible that your area just HAPPENS to be pretty balanced..
What I can say for sure is I have had ZERO cases of retained placenta in 4 years since I have correct selenium levels.. that's worth something to me


Anything is possible.

I don't deal with grass tet because I fall calve so my cows aren't nursing on lush spring forage.

I've had retained placenta's with plenty of selenium out. I can go 4 years without one too. Not sure there's a rhyme or reason or that it's mineral dependent.

My mineral bill is $1200 per year and a retained placenta costs me $10 for shot of lute for the once or twice it happens.

I still put mineral out but have no proof it's actually doing anything.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby ClinchValley » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:01 pm

I brought our calving window much tighter by simply keeping mineral out starting last May. This year all calves came within about 2 -2.5 months. Last year it span from January til May. Made no other changes except for rotating the herd field to field. Bull ran with them all year. At least, this has been my observation. Grandfather thinks the same (this was his place 1.75 years ago).

Maybe the bull just felt very good last year.

The cattle's water is very high in sulphur, making copper and selenium hard to absorb from what i read and hear. Have been using mineral with the highest copper content i can find. I'm assuming that's what helped us anyhow.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby TexasBred » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:18 pm

ClinchValley wrote:I brought our calving window much tighter by simply keeping mineral out starting last May. This year all calves came within about 2 -2.5 months. Last year it span from January til May. Made no other changes except for rotating the herd field to field. Bull ran with them all year. At least, this has been my observation. Grandfather thinks the same (this was his place 1.75 years ago).

Maybe the bull just felt very good last year.

The cattle's water is very high in sulphur, making copper and selenium hard to absorb from what i read and hear. Have been using mineral with the highest copper content i can find. I'm assuming that's what helped us anyhow.

It seldom is the result of one mineral but rather blending the proper balance of the minerals for your area. Having one in excess can be antagonist to several others yet having that same element in the proper amount can actually increase absorption of the same mineral it was previously antagonist toward. A very fine balancing act.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby BK9954 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:23 pm

Minerals in my opinion are as important as the feed. My pastures are a low in selenium which leads to bad fertility and abortions. Researched this after my first bred cow aborted. Have not had a problem since. Minerals affect the overall health of the herd and affect all kinds of functions. Loose minerals and mineral tubs available to my cattle all year long. Some eat, some dont, depends also on the season. I put out the mineral salt licks during the green season to help them with tetany. Its like me taking my multivitamin "with minerals" in the morning, its healthy. Cattle "usaully" dont get everything they they need all year long from nature itself in all regions.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby angus9259 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:38 am

BK9954 wrote:Researched this after my first bred cow aborted. Have not had a problem since. .


I'm not saying you're wrong but one data point doesn't prove anything either. You had one abortion. Put mineral out and the abortion(s) stopped. Maybe true, but wouldn't prove anything to the legal or scientific communities.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Rafter S » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:18 pm

angus9259 wrote:I have not proven to myself minerals are of any value. Cattle seemed healthy with them - they seemed healthy without. They have issues with them, they have issues without.

I put them out because smart people tell me I should but I have no proof they are right.


I can tell you one thing that I have proved to myself. I need to always feed salt that has the iodine added (EDDI salt). I had always been told that I should feed it to help prevent foot rot, and had always done so. A few years ago I thought to myself "I never have problems with foot rot. I should be able to feed the plain white salt." So I switched. Guess what? Apparently the reason I'd never had problems with foot rot was because I'd always fed the EDDI salt, because I had two or three cows that promptly developed it. I switched back to the EDDI salt and the problem stopped.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby pdfangus » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:00 pm

when I can no longer afford to provide the basics of good animal husbandry......
feed in adequate amounts, vaccines for common diseases, basic environmental needs, basic health care, basic sanitation and adequate mineral.....

Then I will no longer be able to care for the animals in my care and will find them a better home...
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby TexasBred » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:02 pm

pdfangus wrote:when I can no longer afford to provide the basics of good animal husbandry......
feed in adequate amounts, vaccines for common diseases, basic environmental needs, basic health care, basic sanitation and adequate mineral.....

Then I will no longer be able to care for the animals in my care and will find them a better home...

:nod: :nod: :clap: :clap: :nod: :nod:
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby cjmc » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:21 pm

There are areas where the molybdenum and other mineral antagonists are so high feeding mineral is a no-brainier. The differences are night and day. There are other areas where mineral deficiencies are not as severe (like where I live), and there are no visible difference between cattle fed mineral and those who are not fed mineral. However; there still are differences & the research shows us that. In my area we do have a slight copper deficiency and typically the first thing to be impacted with a slight copper deficiency is the immune system, so come weaning time you will see a few more calves get sick that didn't have access to mineral.

To me there is no question, we should use mineral, as stated about if nothing else than for good animal husbandry. The real question is, how much is it worth? What mineral package returns me the most money? If i spend $35/hd a year on mineral how much does it return? What if I bought brand X for $25/hd, will it be just as good & save me $10/hd? If I bought brand Y for $40/hd does it net me the most money? What feed additives should I use in the mineral and when & how much are they worth?
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby TexasBred » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:36 am

cjmc wrote:There are areas where the molybdenum and other mineral antagonists are so high feeding mineral is a no-brainier. The differences are night and day. There are other areas where mineral deficiencies are not as severe (like where I live), and there are no visible difference between cattle fed mineral and those who are not fed mineral. However; there still are differences & the research shows us that. In my area we do have a slight copper deficiency and typically the first thing to be impacted with a slight copper deficiency is the immune system, so come weaning time you will see a few more calves get sick that didn't have access to mineral.

To me there is no question, we should use mineral, as stated about if nothing else than for good animal husbandry. The real question is, how much is it worth? What mineral package returns me the most money? If i spend $35/hd a year on mineral how much does it return? What if I bought brand X for $25/hd, will it be just as good & save me $10/hd? If I bought brand Y for $40/hd does it net me the most money? What feed additives should I use in the mineral and when & how much are they worth?

Deaths, delayed breeding, open cows, unthrifty calves....... no way to really figure this value either except to wonder what might have been.
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby cjmc » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:23 pm

[/quote]
Deaths, delayed breeding, open cows, unthrifty calves....... no way to really figure this value either except to wonder what might have been.[/quote]

I agree, it is nearly impossible to measure the difference between two minerals. But the hard questions are the most fun ones to debate! :D While one cannot actually figure out which mineral will return the most money to the ranch. I do think it is possible after studying costs, tags & the area you live in to form an "educated opinion" on which one is "the best bang for your buck" though. And deciding that is like figuring out which one returns the most to the ranch... In a not-so scientific-basically just your opinion way; but actually having and making an informed decision is much better than doing something "because that's what we have always done".
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby angus9259 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:49 pm

cjmc wrote: I do think it is possible after studying costs, tags & the area you live in to form an "educated opinion" on which one is "the best bang for your buck" though. And deciding that is like figuring out which one returns the most to the ranch... In a not-so scientific-basically just your opinion way; but actually having and making an informed decision is much better than doing something "because that's what we have always done".


Well, I've been at this better than 20 years now I guess and I've tried any number of plans and programs from multiple vendors, loose vs tubs, and I've proven nothing to myself. So now I put out a general high quality mineral that touches all the bases. Pretty soon when folks ask why I do it I will be able to say "because that's what I have always done" :).
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Re: Minerals. Are they needed?

Postby Nesikep » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:01 am

I couldn't find a good return on investment on tubs.. at the crazy price they want for them around here ($150 and up for 200 lbs) I can't make it pencil out for the herd... I do get one a year for my weaned calves, I truly believe that once you've decided to keep an animal as a replacement, any leg up you can give it will pay dividends over the years of its life... Once they're in the main herd, fend for yourself and prove your mettle.
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