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May 8, 2007 | 16:31 1 Hi all, just a quick question.. Got a 5 week old bottle (bucket) baby calf. How do I get max growth out of her, and not stunt her??? Feeding her twice a day with Purolac. Any suggestions??
Thanks, Bunny Reply With Quote
May 9, 2007 | 16:49 2 I've got three unloved twins on the go right now too. I'm giving them free choice creep feed, a salt block, a little tub of mineral to lick, some good hay, and water. They're looking just as good as the siblings that stayed with real their real mammas, so I guess it'll do.

What I'm not sure of is how long to leave them on the milk.... If I listen to them they'll be on it until they weigh 700 pounds!!! LOL Reply With Quote
May 9, 2007 | 22:31 3 Kato, when we used to rear pail bunter calves we weaned them off milk once they were eating 3lbs of pellets a day. Hay, pellets and milk/water should do them why do they need mineral licks and salt blocks at that age? Reply With Quote
May 10, 2007 | 19:54 4 Actually all our calves go to the mineral feeders from quite a young age. Not sure what they are looking for, but it does seem to make for healthy calves. No harm in offering it to them. The salt just happens to be in their pen, but they do enjoy a lick now and then. Reply With Quote
May 11, 2007 | 10:00 5 I have always put small tubs of mineral in the calf shelters. I feed a chelated mineral and over the years I feel it has boosted the immunity in the calves. Through all the wet snow and rain I have not had to treat one calf, no scours, no coughing etc. Yesterday I noticed several of the older calves ( 2 months) at the mineral tub, so if they are eating it they must need it. Reply With Quote
May 12, 2007 | 03:24 6 Just because they are eating it, does that really mean they need it???? Just wondering what everybody thinks of that theory. It would be great if this theory were proven true...makes things so much easier to figure out! Maybe it's just something in it that makes it taste good or something? I mean, if you are craving...say...KFC..or a Big Mac...does that mean you "need" it? Reply With Quote
May 12, 2007 | 07:44 7 For my 30 years in the cattle business I have never seen any adverse effect on the calves due to eating mineral.

If they consume a lot of salt and mineral and drink from dirty puddles of course that can cause problems. This year has been a real challenge because there certainly are lots of puddles around, but so far, no sick calves....TOUCH WOOD !! Reply With Quote
May 12, 2007 | 11:19 8 give them as much whole oats as they will eat. Reply With Quote
May 12, 2007 | 21:13 9 Cedar I would agree with your suspicion that just because cattle eat it doesn't mean they need it. "Tubs" are the crack cocaine of the cattle world. The "adverse affect" will not be felt by the cattle so much as the owners pocket book. Reply With Quote
May 12, 2007 | 21:33 10 grassfarmer the 'tubs' I referenced were old half barrels that I use to put loose mineral in under a shed, not tubs of prepared molasses based mineral. Although,this year I have used them as well, Smart Lic or the AgriBlend stuff from Morinville, and today after driving through some of the countryside I think my cows are in fairly good shape compared to many I saw that are showing the effects of a tough spring. For me, the cost of putting out a few tubs of supplement is cheaper in the long run than having cows calving late next year because they weren't in good condition now. Reply With Quote
May 13, 2007 | 08:12 11 No doubt that a properly built mineral will pay back in spades. In cases like where the land is treated as exceptionally well as grassfarmers land, mineral will be less of an issue. No fertilizer or chemicals, and grass allowed to grow properly with paddock grazing will build grass with almost everything that a cow and her calf require. Most folks cannot say that they treat their land or grass like that however.
Even though we treat our land in a similar fashion to grassfarmer, we still allow our custom free choice mineral year round. I know what you are talking about with those "tubs" grassfarmer. Different issue altogether.
No one has mentioned DE yet on this thread. We always have Diatomaceous Earth available for the calves to stick their little tongues in. In fact, if I get the odd case of scours, which is almost inevitable, I give them a mouthful and it is usually all it takes to clear things up.
Maybe not really bottle baby issues, but DE would be a good choice for a bottle baby as well. Reply With Quote
May 13, 2007 | 08:14 12 Happy Mothers Day coppertop, Cedar, kato, and any of you other Mommy's out there in Agrivilleland. Reply With Quote
May 13, 2007 | 09:18 13 Thanks Randy, came home yesterday to find a dozen long stemmed roses from #1 son and his 'crew',and by the sound of it am getting treated to a BBQ later today . That combined with sunshine and grass growing is a wonderful Mother's Day.#2 son is coming for a visit next weekend, so am starting a long 'list' of things I can use his help getting done !
I agree with you on the DE, started putting it out a few years ago, in a small tub right out with the cows and calves, and the little monkeys are over licking it often.

Have a great day, all ! Reply With Quote
May 13, 2007 | 22:57 14 Thanks for the flattery Randy but it's not quite true. I'm still only grazing land that is depleted by years of dumb farming practices. I reckon it will take 15 years to really turn the soil from a dead state to a true living,healthy one. We feed mineral too but I'm still not convinced of the best type or even if one is needed. In comparison to the land I grew up on the prairies are highly mineralised soils and don't seem to need a lot of supplementing. The proof of that seems to be the ability to get good results with cattle whatever the mineral program is. Mineral programs are fine tuning after you have your grazing and feeding programs in place - many outfits in Canada problem's lie in having insufficient grass due to poor grazing practices - as such they are not in a position to be able to assess the value of a mineral program until they have addressed this bigger problem first.
On truly mineral poor, leached land like we had in Scotland if you didn't have the mineral supplementation right you suffered - we could have lush, abundant grass and really fat cows but only 60% conception rates. That does not seem to be the case in Western Canada. I wonder in fact if we should cut out mineral and salt altogether here - cull the 10-15% of cattle that can't live with the new system and be further ahead? Reply With Quote
May 14, 2007 | 00:30 15 I have a neighbor just swears by Diatoemaceous earth-were just getting going calving only 50 on the ground but so far so good. I don't know if the mineral conundrum will ever get solved-I know some pretty well off ranches that have never fed a bag of it.Probably the harder you push cows the more it is needed-pretty easy life for a critter calving on green grass and breeding back on the same. Reply With Quote
May 14, 2007 | 09:06 16 I have always felt that your water analysis is the best basis for your mineral requirements. Now, if cattle are drinking from creeks or dugouts that may not equate, but well water is a different matter.

My well is high sodium, which ties up essential minerals, over the years we have done routine blood analysis and made the decision to feed a chelated mineral. Reply With Quote
May 14, 2007 | 18:43 17 Do you feed additional salt to your cattle or do they get enough from the water? Reply With Quote
May 14, 2007 | 23:04 18 I mix 1/3 salt 2/3 mineral, this was the mixture advised years ago when we were looking into changing our mineral program. Reply With Quote
May 15, 2007 | 00:06 19 That's about what we do too. We're firm believers in minerals. Maybe that explains the twelve sets of twins.

We turn our bulls out early, before the grass is green, so we put some powdered ADE in it too. By now the injections we gave the cows in the winter are worn off, and we figure it's not going to hurt them to get a little extra. Whatever we can do to keep the fertility up is an investment. Once they hit green grass, they don't need any more supplemental vitamins though.

My pailfeds have a little tub of DE too. I forgot about that. I don't know if they really need it, because they're locked in the cattle shed, and can't get at any dirt or puddles, but they still really like the stuff.

Mother's Day. Ah yes. This is a bit off topic, but we spent it shopping for emergency bull number two. Our guys have had the worst luck with injuries that we've ever seen. One twisted his hock (BAD BAD BAD) One stepped on a nail and got an abscess. One developed a corn between his toes, and one has what looks like footrot, even after being vaccinated. Two of these will recover, but the other two don't look so good.

Oh well, I got a nice drive in the country on Mother's Day. Reply With Quote