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  #1  
Old 12/29/06, 02:27 PM
Alberta Farmgirl
 
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Question Best salt blocks for steers??

Okay, here's the thing. All this time we've always fed them the blue block (Cobalt, Iodine, NaCl), simply because that's pretty much the only block that we've known to use, really.

But now we're starting to think about changing that, like using a different block with more minerals, things like that.

Yesterday, went to town to get some blocks, and decided to try those red blocks-the Iodized salt block with Calcium Iodate, Ferric Oxide, salt, and active Iodine (I think that's what it is, on the label it's "Act. Iodine (1) 150mg/Kg")

But, I got some labels from some other blocks to do a little research:
-Selenium Gold 120-20 kg forified trac mineralized salt with selenium for beef cattle, with: salt, zinc, manganese, copper, iron, selenium, iodine and cobalt; and
-Medi-Bloc -trace mineralized stock salt, with: salt, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, iodine and cobalt.

I looked at the website of the company who makes these (Sifto Canada), and they don't really have much, just ingredients, a short little blurb of what it's essential for, and feeding directions. ( http://www.siftocanada.com/products/feedsalts.html )
I know that the selenium trace mineral block is best for us since we're in a selenium defficient area, but the Medi-bloc doesn't have the selenium, but it does have the rest of the minerals that a trace mineral block has, and using my introductory An Sc nutrition "knowledge", that both these two blocks are maybe the best...maybe one more than the other...

I know I got a little long-winded here (kinda thinking out loud, y'know), but I was wondering what any of you think would be best for beef steers up here, especially between the three/four blocks I mentioned?

Thanks...

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Old 12/29/06, 02:52 PM
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Actually the red colored blocks, dont have enough minerals in them to meet some animals needs. Thus, they will usually spend time at a block untill they feel satisfied. I was feeding corn meal only, with access to one of the salt block/mineral blocks (red colored) blocks. The Nutritionist that came to take some forage samples said that those blocks have trace minerals in them. The way to meet their needs is through grain. But thats her, and there isn't a way for me to confirm this.


A selenium block and those red blocks (morton is what we used, my mother buys redman blocks now, mortons lasted a lot longer. But the redmans I guess are natural), is what I have used.


But as far as a block goes, and the majority of people use the red morton blocks here, never seen the purple blocks, some also use the green selenium blocks, along side the red morton blocks.


Jeff

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Old 12/29/06, 04:04 PM
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Ideally a block would be tailed to meet your soil conditions. However, they can vary widely within even one county. I'd recommend you take your soil sample analysis to your County Ag Agent and ask for their recommendation. I know the local one now says to make a yellow salt block available also as the soils are starting to become sulfur deficient from the result of cleaning up smoke stack emmisions.

Tip: The blocks last a lot longer if you don't take off the plastic.

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Old 12/29/06, 04:56 PM
 
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Why not put out several different types and see what the animal prefers???

Most animals will gravitate to what they are lacking and you can probably pick up on that by which block disappears the quickest...


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  #5  
Old 12/29/06, 05:58 PM
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Another idea is a lick. They have selenium, and all the minerals in there they need. One problem with a lick is the fact it is molasses, and they might over eat it. But if you control them, allow them in to lick for an hour a day, you might see better results over the blocks. But it is more expensive than the blocks, but if you regulate it, it can cost the same.


Jeff

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Old 12/29/06, 06:15 PM
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I am not a fan of blocks at all.

I would suggest you go to your local feed store (not a big box type, but a real feed store) and ask what mixes of loose mineral they have.

I used to use blocks in the past. After I changed, mineral intake went way up. The biggest difference that I see is in calving ease. They come out bigger and healthier.

Your mileage may vary.

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Old 12/29/06, 06:25 PM
 
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Salt blocks are too limiting due to the difficulty associated with the consumption. I feed only loose mineralized salt iin order to permit the cattle to consume enough to meet their needs. Mineral salt in the loose form is available to my animals 24/7. My cattle consume approximately 30 lbs per animal per year.

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Old 12/29/06, 08:19 PM
 
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The red blocks are TRACE minerals only. These are minerals that are only needed in minescule quantitys. Use them along with loose mineral without salt.

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Old 12/30/06, 08:28 AM
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Redmond Minerals mined in Utah bulk bagged or compressed block. Kelp. Desert Dyna-min www.agri-dynamics.com. Fertrell minerals..Just somemore ideas. Happy New years to Ya's...

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Old 12/30/06, 01:49 PM
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Well, the loose mineral might be a better choice, it's just the matter of getting the proper loose-mineral-salt holder (which shouldn't be a problem).

We've NEVER went to those box stores like Walmart (never have, never will), the only places we get our stock salt are the feed stores Peavey Mart and UFA (United Farmers of Alberta) (both are Canadian). The red block that we have out now is the Iodized block with just Iodine and salt: no trace minerals, like your's tinkal. The trace-mineral stock salt that's available thru Peavey and the UFA is a grey block (Medi-bloc), and they also sell the Medi-Boot loose mineral trace-mineral salt bags. They also got the cobalt loose mineral, but we've been feeding that (in block form) for a loooong while.

Peavey's stock salt: http://207.234.198.40/MorePromo/Ag/HtoS/salt.html

Now, another question: is the loose mineral more expensive than the blocks?

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Old 12/30/06, 06:11 PM
 
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The price of blocks and loose, with both having the same ingredients, are the same. The consumption will be greater with the loose. That should be acceptable as that is the reason you are making it available, for the benefits. I make my feeders. A 24.5 inch large truck tire and a US 55 Gallon plastic drum are a slip fit. I use a circular saw to cut a hole in the side of the drum. 3 each pieces of 3 inch length of 3 x 3 x 1/4 inch angle iron are drilled with a 3/8 inch hole in each side. The 3 pieces of angle are place 120 degrees apart and a stainless bolt in inserted in the barrel and the sides walls of the tire. Mount the angle to the tires after establishing the bolt location and then insert the drum into the tire. Use the remaining holes in the angle iron as a guide and drill through into the barrel. Insert the bolts and secure the nuts through the access hole of the barrel. You now have a better feeder than you can buy and the cattle cannot turn it over. I sometimes install an eyebolt through the tread part of the tire so that I can pull the feeder with my 4 wheeler to my paddocks or to a different area when the pasture starts getting worn.

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Old 12/30/06, 06:53 PM
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agmantoo, please post a pic.

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Old 12/30/06, 07:07 PM
 
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Rose, I do not have a pic at this time. If it doesn't rain I will get one however. I am also working on an improved version of the device. During winter, cattle lice become more prevelent and I am working to make a device to dribble permethrin based insecticide on the cattles shoulders when the cattle use the mineral feeder.

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Last edited by agmantoo; 12/30/06 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 12/30/06, 09:42 PM
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Yes PLEEAAAZZE post a pic!! You got me lost there after a couple sentences!

And thanks for the price differentiation.

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Old 12/30/06, 09:44 PM
 
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Minerals for Cattle

Karin:

Circumstances vary so much over the country that it is hard to say just what is needed, so you probably SHOULD consult some local authority.

Here is my observation from N. Texas and SE Oklahoma. Cattle will use more plain white salt than mineralized salt when given salt blocks. Same with loose salt and mineral salt equivalent to the blocks.

However; one of the big suppliers (cannot think of the name right now) makes a salt/mineral mix that is varied for the season. One for lush spring pastures with magnesium; another for ordinary summer grass pasture and a third for cattle on hay and winter pasture.

When I went to that mix (pricey, about $l5 per bag) my cows acted like gluttons for a couple of days; now I see them at it regularly but not much more than when on white salt. The manufacturer says that they will taper off.

I buy the stuff despite the price because the cattle seem to thrive on it AND because it is pelleted and coated with a water block. It can be left out in the rain without damage. I feed it in a hanging barrel that turns into the wind, but water still finds its way inside the barrel. With the pelleted salt mix it does not matter.
Ox

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Old 12/30/06, 09:55 PM
Alberta Farmgirl
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxankle
Karin:

Circumstances vary so much over the country that it is hard to say just what is needed, so you probably SHOULD consult some local authority.

Here is my observation from N. Texas and SE Oklahoma. Cattle will use more plain white salt than mineralized salt when given salt blocks. Same with loose salt and mineral salt equivalent to the blocks.

However; one of the big suppliers (cannot think of the name right now) makes a salt/mineral mix that is varied for the season. One for lush spring pastures with magnesium; another for ordinary summer grass pasture and a third for cattle on hay and winter pasture.

When I went to that mix (pricey, about $l5 per bag) my cows acted like gluttons for a couple of days; now I see them at it regularly but not much more than when on white salt. The manufacturer says that they will taper off.

I buy the stuff despite the price because the cattle seem to thrive on it AND because it is pelleted and coated with a water block. It can be left out in the rain without damage. I feed it in a hanging barrel that turns into the wind, but water still finds its way inside the barrel. With the pelleted salt mix it does not matter.
Ox
I have never heard of the varied-season stock salt before. I even kinda doubt if it's even available up here in AB, although it'll probably be mighty useful. And the water-block, that's just if they're pelleted, right? I don't think that feed stores have that up here either, just the loose mineral mix (I'm gonna look right now).

Thanks for that info ox, btw.
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