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Offline LazyGLowlines

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2008, 11:00:58 AM »
We used to put protein tubs out for all our cattle, and our vet told us that unless we're also feeding grain it was just very expensive fertilizer. So we only put them out for the show cattle since they're the only ones getting any grain. Our minerals come from the vet, too.  It's a special mix for our area here in the northwest.  We don't have (or don't know about) any mineral sales guys around here and we're not really in cattle country. We found that the cattle consume as much as they need. If the tub's been empty for awhile they'll go crazy over it when it gets filled, then taper off. 

Offline CAB

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2008, 11:08:56 AM »
  Very well said Juli and Jill. I was looking into ADM's new tubs last week @ $83 some cents the cost/cow/day was $.42. I can feed 4 lbs of a 14% complete ration for $.44 and see that they all eat and are feeling well every day. I have also said/asked B4 about your feed "salesman" scratching whose back first? It needs to make sense for "your "operation. You have to look @ what feedstuffs you are using and supplement according to what "you" need to balance out your feedstuffs. Brent

Offline DLD

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2008, 12:49:10 PM »
I'm a pretty firm believer in good quality tubs at this point, at least in my fall calving program.  I've fed (yes, and sold) the ADM tubs in the past, and a couple of years ago we calculated that it was just as economical to feed the complete tubs as to feed 2 lbs. a day of cubes plus a free choice high quality mineral.  I used the ADM tubs starting in September, and never had any problems with over consumption.  My cows bred back quicker, milked better, weaned bigger calves, and were just overall healthier and looked better.  I don't consider convenience to be a huge factor because I (or someone) see these cows everyday, but it does allow me to use a four wheeler sometimes instead of having to drive the much more expensive diesel pickup every day.

Last year I made the mistake of going without them - I fed 2.5 pounds of 20% cubes daily, free choice Moormans mineral, and free choice bermuda grass hay, and over half of my September calvers are going to be late November - December calvers this year.  I'll admit that I guess I should've tested my hay - it looked very good, but it seems that alot of last years hay around here wasn't as good as usual, something to do with the very wet year following so many very dry ones.

So this year I'm feeding the tubs again, and everything looks really good and the cows that have calved are cycling very well (we'll start breeding next week).  I have switched from the ADM's to Sweet Pro's though - they're costing noticeably less and seem to be working just as well. 

Admittedly, I've never tried feeding grain to cows - it's not really common practice around here, and it would require some investment in equipment and facilities that I don't currently have.  If those things are available to you though, that might work better for you.

Hay and protein cubes are all I use on my spring calvers, and that usually works plenty well enough for us.  I also have a Sweet Pro "Kalf Kandy" tub out for some spring born heifers on grass, and they seem to be doing really well on it, too.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2008, 03:51:01 PM by DLD »
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Offline chambero

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2008, 01:21:12 PM »
I'll admit that I guess I should've tested my hay - it looked very good, but it seems that alot of last years hay around here wasn't as good as usual, something to do with the very wet year following so many very dry ones.

We saw the same thing last year in regard to forage/hay quality.  Everyone's (including ours) calf weights were really off this summer - in the ballpark of 75-100 lbs.  I don't know why that wet summer didn't help us more.  Our cows are being a little late to finish up calving this year also.

Offline elmo radke

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2008, 05:11:39 PM »
I would assume you are on native grass and going to corn stalks.  With that in mind, I would say that you have changed the diet on your cows tremendously.  That is not meant to sound bad, it would just mean that your cows are adjusting to the change and maybe needing some supplemental protein, as said earlier, move the tubs away from the pond/water source.  If the tubs are only cooked, then it will help.  If you are using an intake modifier type from Purina, then consult your local dealer/rep.  Our cows are going through mineral as well, since we put them on milo stalks and took them off native grass.  They should slow down once their mineral balance is back in check.

Offline elmo radke

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2008, 05:13:49 PM »
One other thing to consider, 10 days @ 1.5 # consumption per head  X 30 cows is 450 pounds.  They are probably eating more, but your intake is still less than 1# of supplemental protein per day if your tubs are 32% or 38%.

Offline savaged

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2008, 10:35:11 PM »
Put the first tub out today.  A few licks and they seemed only mildly interested.  When it gets real cold they will go at it harder.

Offline oakbar

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2008, 12:47:21 PM »
We don't use tubs but we do have a somewhat unique way of getting some extra protein into our herd.

With the increased cost of hay the last couple of years, we have been feeding more corn stalks instead of hay.   Last year we fed twice as many corn stalk bales as hay bales.   I was worried how to get some additional protein into them to offset that lost from the hay.   We came up with a feed mixture that works pretty well for us.   We mix corn or good quality corn screenings with DDGs and a legume balancer.   As the pastures decline in the fall, we start by feeding a pound or so of this per animal per day and then as we shift over to feeding hay and corn stalks we will start to increase the amount we give them.  In mid winter, when the temperatures are the coldest we may feed up to 6 pounds/ head/day.  Of course, this varies by the ratio of corn stalks to hay and the body condition of the cows but we feel this has been a good program for us and has allowed us to keep our cost/cow under control even thought the hay costs and grain costs are up.    This program can also be adapted to a hihger level of DDGs if you want a higher protein level and less energy.   We have used a formula of 1800 pounds of corn/screenings, 160 # of DDGs, and 40# of the forage balancer as our base product.   If we are feeding more stalks than a  2:1 ratio over time, I would probably increase the level of DDGs to compensate for protein needs.
We also have salt and a good mineral available for them on a free choice basis.
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Offline aj

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2008, 01:38:54 PM »
This is kinda related to corn screeninigs....but a local elevator(2 million bu. capacity) has a vacum system that sucks dust out of the air and it is sucked into a tank. I get it free and dump it out as far from the cows as I can so they have a ways to go for water. I haven't lost any cows yet and they love the stuff. One sample was a 8% protein result. Some people think I'm nuts cause the think it is dirt and not grain dust. It is soybean,wheat,sunflower,milo and corn dust all mixed together. I guess 30 years ago they hauled yhe dust to a cube feedmill and used dust in pellets somehow. One year the wheat had a rust in it and we decided not to feed it to pregnant cows because of abortion worries. I worked there a couple years and kinda got in on the deal.
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Offline kanshow

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2008, 02:06:46 PM »
I guess we are pretty fortunate in that we have a lot of alfalfa ..  That's what we normally use as our protein source.   

The tubs do have their place, we've used them in the past & I'm sure we'll use them again.   

Offline simtal

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2008, 03:21:34 PM »
I would be cautious about feeding a large amount of grain screenings to cows.  Small amounts <10 # hd/d are ok, but if you allowed the cows to consume ad lib, you could have some major problems.
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Offline oakbar

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2008, 03:36:35 PM »
We don't feed more than 6 pounds total of this mix and its always a lower percentage of screenings than corn. In addition, I always demand that they are good screenings.   I sent one load back for poor quality screenings and ever since that they have been very good about telling me in advance what quality of screenings they have.  If the quality is poor we just use corn.    Works for us but may not be for everyone.
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Offline justintime

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Re: protein tubs
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2008, 10:29:06 PM »
In the mid 80s, when we were in the middle of a decade of drought, we came up with some pretty good ways to make feed out of refuse.  One year, we tub ground wheat and oat straw and mixed it with refuse sunflower screenings and stillage ( the watery component left over from distilling or ethanol process) We put the straw into a pit silo, then layered in a few inches of sunflower screenings. We had a large tank filled with stillage and we pumped it onto the straw/ sunflower mixture, then packed it with a tractor. The stillage was just a few degrees below boiling, so it helped start the heating process. It insiled and made a silage like mix that the cows just loved. I was really surprised when we did a feed test and this mixture tested better than our alfalfa silage for protien and TDN. The sunflower screenings by themselves tested 42% protein and we got them free. A local farmer was cleaning them and had discarded the screenings into a slough. The stillage cost us 1 cent a gallon delivered to the farm. This took a little work, but it was a much cheaper feed than buying high priced hay that had to be hauled over 500 miles, and it got us through a few winters. The cows also did very well on this feed.

I would also add, that hay is often the most expensive feed source for cows. They do need some hay but you can cut the hay by 1/2 to 2/3, by feeding a few pounds of grain or screening pellets and a few bales of corn stalks or straw. You have to pay attention to the mineral intake of the cows. Grain and/or screening pellets are much easier to haul and are usually price effective when it is calculated on a proteinn and TDN basis.
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