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Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:47 pm
by MtnCows93
Does anyone use the cafeteria style mineral feeders? and if so where do you buy your individual minerals? Ive been wanting to use them but cant find anyone who sells it

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:13 pm
by Bigfoot
True cows know when it's time for minerals. Evidenced by running out in the feeder, and they load up for a few days, when it's refilled. There not going to be able to approach a buffet style mineral, and know which mineral and how much. By a quality mineral and feed it free choice.

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:22 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Bigfoot, I agree. As much as we like to think our cows can "know" what they need. NO. You need to purchase an already well-balanced free choice mineral. "Cafeteria style" is just foo-foo dust - IMHO.

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:16 pm
by Angus Rocks
What happened when all the cattle were wild did the ground have more minerals or did they find what they needed?

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:32 pm
by ALACOWMAN
I imagine when they were wild,they had access to good grasses...and a lot of resistance..we put a lot of pressure on our ground..causing poorer soils low in minerals..commercial fertilizer like ammonium nitrate, will make the grass jump.. But makes the soil real acidic...

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:40 pm
by ALACOWMAN
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Bigfoot, I agree. As much as we like to think our cows can "know" what they need. NO. You need to purchase an already well-balanced free choice mineral. "Cafeteria style" is just foo-foo dust - IMHO.

Yep cattle will wear white salt out giving the choice....though they need it to...but I don't give em free choice, I make the choice for em :cowboy:

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:41 pm
by TexasBred
Angus Rocks wrote:What happened when all the cattle were wild did the ground have more minerals or did they find what they needed?

They lived with deficiencies. Maybe only bred occasionally, gave birth and raised unthrifty babies and died young. We can only guess but thats what happens to cattle with mineral deficiences these days.

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:59 pm
by ALACOWMAN
Same way with a lot of the folks years ago.. Look at the pictures some of those folks in their thirties, looked twice their age.. and the tombstones show em maybe making it into their 40's..

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:03 am
by Dixie2542
What mineral mix do you use? Seems like mineral prices are increasing lately..

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:27 am
by farmerjan
I had 2 dairy farmers that went with the "cafeteria" style of minerals for about 3 years. Both said that they got more wasted mineral from the cows going through the different boxes and pushing some on the ground. Neither saw any benefits like increased fertility or more milk or better feed conversion or shinier coats or anything. Don't know if they did any blood samples. Both went back to feeding a complete premix mineral.
Now that is only 2 farms. But I feel there is some merit to it on a SMALL comparison basis.

And as far as the "wild cattle" years ago; it is true that they often did not calve yearly or in a timely manner if they got sick they just hung on or died. Predators took care of the unthrifty ones. Another thing, they did not graze the same ground over and over being able to move/migrate. And before we started using all the chemicals, and intensively farming the same ground over and over, there were alot more trace minerals in the soils. There are proven studies about how the vitamin and mineral content of the food we humans eat has lost a great deal of the nutritional value. Same as for the grass the cattle eat.

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:56 pm
by MtnCows93
dixie, i use hi mag mineral year round because thats all i can get thats decent

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:05 pm
by Son of Butch
I remember MNVB doing research on cafeteria style mineral feeding back in the 1970s.
They found it was not a cost effective delivery system of minerals for dairy cows.

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:05 pm
by TexasBred
Dixie2542 wrote:What mineral mix do you use? Seems like mineral prices are increasing lately..

Vitamin prices have gone up tremendously the last couple of months, especially highly concentrated sources of Vitamin "A". Seems they had a fire at the primary production facility in China and supply is very limited. Haven't seen any large changes in prices of trace minerals.

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:06 am
by Dixie2542
Thanks I figured something happened because I use a premix mineral with vitamins and it shot up quite a bit over the past couple months....

Re: Cafeteria minerals

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:03 pm
by circlebllc
Offering white salt block to my loose mineral, has reduced mineral usage. They use more white salt during wet weather.