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Senior Advisor

Protein Tubs

With all the different types of protein supplements available today, how does one know which one to use for their herd?

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11 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Protein Tubs

We use them as a kind of like " candy hand out " type of managment tool to get the cows to work those away from the shade area of the pastures. Seems there can be  fair level of gray area when it comes to ingredients   vs  ROI. Have used least expensive to the high $$$ ones although I can't speak favorably towards either---  

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Senior Advisor

Re: Protein Tubs

If you can't tell much difference between high dollar tubs versus cheaper ones, you just helped me make my decision. Cows already have calves by there side and I'll probably start breeding back around the Thanksgiving time frame. Just want to be certain cows maintain their body condition.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Protein Tubs

Seems the rain will destabilize the cheaper material and cause a guey mess - the harder the texture of the material the slower the consumption which I see in comparrison of course --- the cows like the molasses mostly and the rest is probably a shot in the dark---  

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Contributor

Re: Protein Tubs

Not an advertisement by any means, but hard to go wrong with Purina(rangeland) tubs.  They are a good consistent product and you know what you are getting each time.  Have had other tubs that were inconsistent intake, and actually had some tested that were about 4% off of the claimed protein level (Claimed 18% tested ~14%).   Price is always a factor, but look into what is in the tubs and see what you're getting

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Protein Tubs

Excellant points 01 - not all lolly pops are the same and finding a reliable ingrediant analyisis could be interesting --- 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Protein Tubs

Thanks for all the input fella's.  I've decided to use an ADM product tub that seems to be very popular in my area.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Protein Tubs

Unless you're using them as a way to lure livestock away from one place and to another one or to get them corralled up, they are a waste of money in most cases.  For 4 years I was scooping up fresh poop, freezing it and sending it to Texas A&M.  There they would analyze it and could tell the nutritional content of what the animal was eating by what was coming out the back.  There was only one time where the protein levels were insufficient and that was on a severly overgrazed pasture during a drought that had more thorn trees than grass.  Otherwise, out of hundreds of samples, in all cases forage quantity was the limiting factor to animal performance, not the forage quality.  Keep in mind these were pasture settings, not dry lot with animals eating hay and concentrates and included cattle, sheep, goats and horses of all ages and stages of pregnancy.  Manure testing is more accurate and forage testing because the former considers what the animal is actually consuming, not what you put out in front of them.  It's no different that with me, just because McDonalds has healthy salads on their menu doesn't mean I'm eating that green crud. 

 

In most cases, putting out protein tubs probably does more for the mental satisfaction of the livestock manager than for the nutritional satisfaction of the animal.  I'm sure there are plenty of people who will swear I don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm going by facts and lab results.  And any used car salesman can vouch for the fact that I'm not one easily beguiled or taken in by wild claims.  They don't call Missouri the Show-Me state for nothing.   

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Protein Tubs

You are right bikinkawboy " Manure testing is more accurate and forage testing because the former considers what the animal is actually consuming, not what you put out in front of them"

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Senior Advisor

Re: Protein Tubs

I fully understand the above comments, but I'd rather have expensive manure than a herd of cows that won't breed due to lacking nutrition.
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