Protein Tubs; Anyone Use Them?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Haggis, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Anyone use here use protein tubs?

    Are they okay to use with dairy cattle if one is consuming the milk?

    I'm trying to get my CP up without overloading the girls with grain, and my hay is just too low in CP to do it.
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Tubs are about the most expensive protein you can buy. There is no way to tell how much the cows are getting, or if someone is not getting any at all. The good part is they are easy to use. Put them out and forget it until they are empty.

    Grain is generally low in protein, but high in energy. If you need more protein, use soybean meal. Cows love that stuff! A little goes a long ways....I think I feed my cows 1/2 pound a day when they are hay. It might be 2 pounds, I have to recheck....

    Adding protein to the ration increases the digestibility of poor quality hay. You get a lot of bang for your buck....

    Jena
     

  3. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have put out over 75 a month during the winter. They are expensive as far as protein goes. If this is a situation where you are miling the cow daily then you could go with something else. If you do use them, be sure to read the contents and see if they are labeled or not for milk....I dont milk so I dont know.

    Other options for protein would be some alfalfa hay. I wouldnt feed straight alfalfa though, mix it with grass. You wouldnt be getting very much energy with the alfalfa. I've seen cows just about freeze to death while eating straight alfalfa. Seeing where you are from, is haylage and option, or baleage?
    I think tubs are great....in a range situation though, we continue to use them. Dont worry about them not getting to the tub, the usually catch on quick. If one doesnt, sell it....the market is good.
    I've yet to see a bovine have an over intake on the tubs...they generally use salt as a limiter.

    Will the increase of milk outset the cost of the protein?
     
  4. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I don't think that adding protein will increase my Jersey's milk this late in the game, my worry is that the cows are eating nonstop on less than ideal quality hay. I used the "Pearson's Square" to figure that they were really lacking in protein.

    Grain for energy is easy enough; I can get oats, barley, or corn just about anywhere, but I can't get high quality, high protein hay.

    The stuff I have is late cut Brome with a little Trefoil, some Clover, a bit of Timothy, and some whole bales are plain old swamp grass. The guy who sold me the hay also sold me a couple of hundred small bales in late summer; they were really good. He said the round bales would be the same stuff. Herself says that I'm the easiest guy in the world to cheat, but anyway; some of this stuff the cows won't even touch so I'm looking for more hay, and options to help with the stuff they will eat.

    So it goes. Herself is happy that I'm not in this for the money, 'cause I sure wouldn't be making any; spending yes, but making no.

    I've tried pouring molasses on the hay they don't like, but they just lick it off and look at me like I owe them money.
     
  5. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    We feed tubs to our cows, including the Jersey. They love them, & even the lowest in the pecking order get all they want. They would get pushed away if we poured out feed to them.
     
  6. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    LOL!!

    I think if we all looked at it on paper, all our cows would lack one thing or another. Do they look like they are lacking? What is their BCS? What make are they....oh, Jersey, skip the BCS then.

    If you are feeding them that hay AND some grain, I really doubt I would worry about it. IF you can get oats, corn and barley, get some mixed. I would caution you on going heavy on the barley though. Barley is pretty hot and they can bloat or impact pretty quickly. You can get it ground and it will be a speck more efficient, depending on their age. If they are milking then I would get it ground or rolled (better). Dont get it done finely though, make it course. Heck, that ought to give you at least 10-12% protein. The hay has to have fair protein, what with the clover and trefoil. Our hay is 7% at best....on a good year!

    How long have they been wet? If it is time to dry them up, you wont increase anything...let them dry up.

    Lots of questions, huh? Sorry.......
     
  7. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I'm only milking one Jersey just now, she freshened May 17. I have another Jersey due on January 4; she was AI'd and had a palpation by a vet before I bought her. Lord knows she is huge and looks the part.

    Two of my Milking Devons are supposed to be in calf and due months ago, but at this point I'm beginning to think the Devons are all Free Martins; either the though one group is the Grandmother, mother, and calf all sold to me as bred.

    I suppose my hay, the better stuff, is at least 7% and the swamp grass is -10%. I would like to keep the total CP for the cows and heifers at at least 10%, and at 15% for those in milk.

    Herself gives me the jaunticed eye everytime talk about needing something else for the livestock. I have a tendency to go through a lot of cash to get what I want, and since she keeps the books, I never worry about the cost. (One year I got started buying computers and bought over $10K worth of them before she put the skids on. On the high side, most of my kids got a free computer and we have one in every room in the house; on the low side, I still get the evil eye from Herself everytime I start looking at computers on-line.)

    I had to work pretty hard to get them in shape this spring when I bought them and I don't want to lose the ground they've gained.
     
  8. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Do you have access to corn silage? That would work nicely for you as well. I think you are doing fine, especially if you are pleased with how they look. If you got some grain and gave them a snif of it night and day, that would probably do it.....and it would probably be your cheapest route.
    Better yet, use the swamp grass for energy and get some alfala to mix with it. You get my point here, any way will work, its just a matter of what is easiest for you to come up with and what you want to physically handle.
    Hope this has helped you some. Although I am not an 'educated authority', I have been in the cattle business for a lot of years, you know, school of hard knocks.
     
  9. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I appreciate all of the help.

    I bought a bag of 47% soymeal and gave some to my cows; it's hit.

    I called around to find some protein tubs and the nearest feed store to have them is 75 miles away; one way. I guess I have to run down and get a half dozen or so to have around the place. They are 250lb. tubs at 27% protein; all natural; whatever that means, for $75 each.

    I probably will try to find some better hay; in small squares, to keep in the barn, but I feel a lot better now.

    By the way, the nearest corn field is over 100 miles from here.

    Thanks again folks.
     
  10. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    EEK....100 miles! The soymeal is good, just dont overdue it, a little goes a long way.
    Yep, those are the tubs....so long as you dont go figuring what you are paying a ton, you are good.

    Economically speaking, I think hay would be your best bet. Easiest, is of course, the tubs. Dont feel bad about the 75 miles....I cant even get to a McDonalds in less than 100 miles, not that I would want to eat there.
     
  11. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Haggis, check the labels before you head off to buy, the one thing that always leaves me a bit nervous is the 'animal protein' that's listed on many of the labels. Check and see what brand and what the brand has in it.
     
  12. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Will do wr, will do. Thanks a heap!