Protein tubs npower electricity power cut


I’m a pretty firm believer in good quality tubs at this point, at least in my fall calving program. I’ve fed (yes, and sold) the ADM tubs in the past, and a couple of years ago we calculated that it was just as economical to feed the complete tubs as to feed 2 lbs. a day of cubes plus a free choice high quality mineral. I used the ADM tubs starting in September, and never had any problems with over consumption. My cows bred back quicker, milked better, weaned bigger calves, and were just overall healthier and looked better. I don’t consider convenience to be a huge factor because I (or someone) see these cows everyday, but it does allow me to use a four wheeler sometimes instead of having to drive the much more expensive diesel pickup every day.

Last year I made the mistake of going without them – I fed 2.5 pounds of 20% cubes daily, free choice Moormans mineral, and free choice bermuda grass hay, and over half of my September calvers are going to be late November – December calvers this year. I’ll admit that I guess I should’ve tested my hay – it looked very good, but it seems that alot of last years hay around here wasn’t as good as usual, something to do with the very wet year following so many very dry ones.

So this year I’m feeding the tubs again, and everything looks really good and the cows that have calved are cycling very well (we’ll start breeding next week). I have switched from the ADM’s to Sweet Pro’s though – they’re costing noticeably less and seem to be working just as well.

Admittedly, I’ve never tried feeding grain to cows – it’s not really common practice around here, and it would require some investment in equipment and facilities that I don’t currently have. If those things are available to you though, that might work better for you.

Hay and protein cubes are all I use on my spring calvers, and that usually works plenty well enough for us. I also have a Sweet Pro "Kalf Kandy" tub out for some spring born heifers on grass, and they seem to be doing really well on it, too.

With the increased cost of hay the last couple of years, we have been feeding more corn stalks instead of hay. Last year we fed twice as many corn stalk bales as hay bales. I was worried how to get some additional protein into them to offset that lost from the hay. We came up with a feed mixture that works pretty well for us. We mix corn or good quality corn screenings with DDGs and a legume balancer. As the pastures decline in the fall, we start by feeding a pound or so of this per animal per day and then as we shift over to feeding hay and corn stalks we will start to increase the amount we give them. In mid winter, when the temperatures are the coldest we may feed up to 6 pounds/ head/day. Of course, this varies by the ratio of corn stalks to hay and the body condition of the cows but we feel this has been a good program for us and has allowed us to keep our cost/cow under control even thought the hay costs and grain costs are up. This program can also be adapted to a hihger level of DDGs if you want a higher protein level and less energy. We have used a formula of 1800 pounds of corn/screenings, 160 # of DDGs, and 40# of the forage balancer as our base product. If we are feeding more stalks than a 2:1 ratio over time, I would probably increase the level of DDGs to compensate for protein needs.

In the mid 80s, when we were in the middle of a decade of drought, we came up with some pretty good ways to make feed out of refuse. One year, we tub ground wheat and oat straw and mixed it with refuse sunflower screenings and stillage ( the watery component left over from distilling or ethanol process) We put the straw into a pit silo, then layered in a few inches of sunflower screenings. We had a large tank filled with stillage and we pumped it onto the straw/ sunflower mixture, then packed it with a tractor. The stillage was just a few degrees below boiling, so it helped start the heating process. It insiled and made a silage like mix that the cows just loved. I was really surprised when we did a feed test and this mixture tested better than our alfalfa silage for protien and TDN. The sunflower screenings by themselves tested 42% protein and we got them free. A local farmer was cleaning them and had discarded the screenings into a slough. The stillage cost us 1 cent a gallon delivered to the farm. This took a little work, but it was a much cheaper feed than buying high priced hay that had to be hauled over 500 miles, and it got us through a few winters. The cows also did very well on this feed.

I would also add, that hay is often the most expensive feed source for cows. They do need some hay but you can cut the hay by 1/2 to 2/3, by feeding a few pounds of grain or screening pellets and a few bales of corn stalks or straw. You have to pay attention to the mineral intake of the cows. Grain and/or screening pellets are much easier to haul and are usually price effective when it is calculated on a proteinn and TDN basis.