Is this healthy?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Countrygrl3, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    Our new jersey cows have been literally attacking their mineral block! is this healthy for them? they have been drinking enough water, so im not worried about dehydration, but i dont know how much salt/minerals is healthy for their systems. one is due to calve in june and the other hasnt been bred before. they are fed grain 2 times a day (10% protein 3% fat) and get as much timothy hay as they want, tho they dont eat a ton of it. should i change their grain? their droppings are a bit runnier than i would prefer, but since we just got them on thurs. i want to give them some time to re-cooperate from the long drive. any suggestions would be helpful! thanks!

    Sue
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You said you just recently got them right?? Could be a mineral defecincy from there previuos home ,Or could be the shipping has them stressed.
     

  3. Donna from Mo

    Donna from Mo Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like the previous owner deprived them of salt. When they get caught up, they'll slow down on it. I've never heard of a cow getting sick from a salt or mineral block.
     
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Cows can eat tons of salt without problems, as long as they have all the water they want. If they don't have enough water, they can get salt poisoning.

    I am assuming that "mineral block" means those red salt blocks. The minerals in them are pretty much worthless and should not be counted on to meet the needs of you cattle. They are good for salt, though.

    You should get some loose mineral to offer them and you also might want to try some loose salt until they mellow out on the blocks. It's easier for them to eat loose salt than to lick it.

    Jena
     
  5. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    thanks everyone! this is my first try with dairy cows so i was a little shocked at the amount of salt they were intaking.

    Jena, i just gave them half the block that my horses use because i thought it might do them some good. i will get some loose minerals at my local farmers co-op and add it to their grain. about how much do they need? they always have access to fresh water.

    is their grain correct in the amount of protein 10% and fat 3%? i want to make sure that i do right by 'em. :)

    Sue
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Allow them free choice on mineral. Just put it out there and they will eat what they want.

    To figure a ration, you need to take into account everything they eat, then figure up the amount of protein, energy, etc in that. I don't do dairy cattle so I'm not the one to ask if the ration is sufficient. Beef and dairy can have very different requirements and I just do beefers.

    Jena
     
  7. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    Cattle pretty much know how much mineral they need.
     
  8. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Do not put out loose salt and limit the mineral at first. Wait a while for their bodies to catch up. When I started at a farm they changed from salt blocks to loose . 250 dairy cows went to town and licked up the salt like a Mc DOnalds French fry. Come milking time I had about 25 cows with milk fever symptoms?? It was salt poisoning even though there was 4 automatic waters and three big round tanks of water. Try IV a dozen cows a gallon of lacted ringers every hour for a day or two. We lost six and a couple more never fully recovered. Just when I thought I knew it all! Humbling experience. This could be a Jersey trait too. They have to taste everything!! Ours have eaten the paint of the bottom five foot of the barn and seem like cribbing horses at times.
     
  9. Countrygrl3

    Countrygrl3 Well-Known Member

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    thanks evermoor, i learn so much just by askin a simple question! i will definately keep an eye on their in-take. im just waiting for my vet to get a chance to get out here, so meanwhile i get to bother all of you all with my questions :) thanks so much!

    Sue
     
  10. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! See, I don't know beans about dairy. I have used salt to limit intake of soybean meal on my beefers without a problem. They did drink a great deal of water, but no problems. I'll probably be doing that again this year...it's a handy little trick that can save a lot of labor time.

    Jena
     
  11. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Yes it was scary. It was a combination of nutrient defencies, a bad nutrionist, and a over eager employee (me). Funny never heard it mentioned in the three nutrition classes I took in college. I just want tell my experience with it so nobody else has to deal with it. We also mix salt or dical with soda to limit intake. Tell us more about mixing salt with soybean meal. Thanks
     
  12. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check to see if the mineral block contains selenium. Cattle need it, but too much can be harmful.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm