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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Apr 07 2014 :  1:27:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess I asked about Kelp under another heading; but, I am wondering what sort of minerals you offer your Jerseys? And why? All free-choice? If not, then what is the dosage?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens

maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Apr 08 2014 :  10:12:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I buy organic dairy minerals from Wick's Livestock Nutrition in Atkinson, Nebraska. I give all my adult cattle slightly less than 1/4 cup per day in their organic alfalfa pellets that I get from ModestoMilling.com. They end up licking-the-bowl for every last morsel of alfalfa and so end up getting the minerals that way. I also offer them free-choice the Redmond Rock salt sold at Spence, also available at ModestoMilling.com. Love Redmond Rock salt and so glad Spence carries it!

Right now, Mike's (Michael Wicks) website isn't totally functional because it doesn't open in Internet Explorer, only Firefox. I feel bad for not-computer-savvy people who hire off-site web builders. Anyway, I called him to let him know to make sure his web guy is maintaining the updates that Internet Explorer makes so his website stays live and to have them test it before they tell Mike all is well. His phone is 402-340-3811.

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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Apr 08 2014 :  8:50:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, MaryJane!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Apr 22 2014 :  1:32:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got a Redmond Rock Salt this weekend at Spence for Clover. I have also added some kelp to her diet so slowly, hopefully, I will improve her nutrition and help supplement when she's grazing as soon as the grass is high enough! Since she had a rocky beginning from birth, I think that her nutrition will be even more important as we get ready to breed her this coming fall.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 11 2016 :  7:24:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wondering what everyone thinks about offering free choice individual loose minerals.

The article:
http://thefarmbarbie.com/does-your-cow-have-hidden-hunger/

The minerals:
http://www.abcplus.biz/abc2.aspx?Id=Organic_Dairy_Kits_12_Mineral

Read this today and wondering if it's a better route to go than with an all in one loose mineral?

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Feb 11 2016 :  7:42:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i have actually been looking into this. i free feed a few loose minerals, but not to this extent and it is actually something lover boy and i have been considering just the past few weeks. what has kept me moving forward up to this point is the massive feeder needed for 10+ minerals ... but we've decided to do this so that we have it ready right after sally delivers may 9th...

so i would like to say you are in good company in considering this, me!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 11 2016 :  8:20:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm wondering if, Cindy, you could do a mineral panel on Sally now and then do another mineral panel on her after she has the free feed individual minerals? It sure would help the rest of us see if there is a measureable difference. Clover had a mineral panel run on her last fall ... the report got lost between the cracks and I finally got it just a bit ago. MaryJane reminded me of Wicks minerals which we had not been consistent in giving. MaryJane's cows have had mineral panels run on them, and I think all of them have been fine. It just seems a bit more intense to create a dozen free minerals feeder than I have time or energy for at the moment. But maybe it gets easy after the initial investment. How did the very first homesteaders do it with their backyard cows??

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Feb 11 2016 :  8:51:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I've put diatomaceous earth, baking soda, kelp, and loose minerals out at the same time in the compartmentalized mineral trays sold in feed stores that are a black plastic version of what the author built, my cows managed to get them fairly mixed together over time. (Messy manners I guess--occasionally one of my untowards managed to back up to it and put a you-now-what right into the middle of it all.) The mess had gotten bad enough that I only put one or two things out at a time these days.

Right now I have kelp and Redmond rocks out. I'm still serving loose minerals to them in their feed (Chaffhaye). I'm anxious to know what a feeder of that size with the minerals next to each other looks like a week or two later, or a month later. If I went with all the various different minerals, I'd probably want to separate them further somehow. They should definitely be under cover and in a place where snow or rain couldn't blow in and get them wet. There is a spot on my property where all my cows go to lick as well as my calves. It's in a place where there's a wall of clay that keeps caving in and there's a water seep. Obviously, it has something they want. Or need.

For my own health, I'm skeptical of supplements, so I waded into a mineral supplements program for my cows very slowly and carefully. (I mean, think of the opinions surrounding human supplements.) Seems like an overdose of a mineral can be just as bad as a deficiency. Ultimately, I'd prefer serving them food that is so wholesome and the soil it was grown in so unadulterated, everything they needed would be in their food in the right proportions.

Taking into consideration my misgivings about a daily dose of something concocted, I've resorted to an annual blood draw for a mineral panel. Even though a blood draw is capable of giving you a general idea of their mineral makeup, it's only a moment in time. My blood draws so far have come back with their minerals being in the desirable range. When I lost Rosetta recently, Dr. Parish suggested I do a liver biopsy because it would be a true picture of my herd's mineral uptake. She was perfect in every category but on the high end for copper and selenium so I've been cutting back a tad on their daily dosage.

I like the idea of a mineral program that is truly free-choice in that all the components aren't mixed. I'm just not sure how well it works in terms of behavior, work load, etc. I wonder if we can find someone who's done it for a year or two in addition to getting regular mineral panels done on their herd?


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Feb 12 2016 :  04:40:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
charlene, the before/after mineral panel is a GREAT idea. and i do serve up wicks right now along with the other free choice MJ recommends so i have a start in the right direction.

mary jane, i too prefer the wholesome diet routine. that is why we have been working on pastures for a few years prior to the cows - wanted to make sure we had nice natural food sources for them. i also prefer natural delivery of nutrition versus supplements, in humans or bovines, but not sure if we humans have destroyed the earth a bit too much for that to be successful right now.

so i am very curious about the free choice aspect, as i do believe us humans have messed with the earth so much it will take decades of proper mgmt to get it back to where it should be so that everything that was naturally there before is back. but i am mostly concerned, or perhaps just interested is a better term, in what we humans have decided the cows' level of mineral content should be versus what they feel themselves. forgive me, but seeing how us humans have messed up the livestock world i am not sure i rely 100% on what we think is proper versus a cow's intuition.

look how we think a certain cholesterol level is good/bad, etc.... we don't always derive these guidelines properly and they aren't true across the board for each and every human although that is how they are now applied medically .

so i was thinking a mineral buffet would be a good experiment. but had hoped to have our new cow shelter done before embarking as i too am curious about weather.

i think i am up to this challenge! i'll get lover boy to make the buffet feeder, with a bit more separation between minerals, and we'll put it into place this summer AFTER baby is born as i have no desire to mess with our dietary program prior to calving. i was thinking on getting on a quarterly mineral panel program, but i also think it might take 2-3 years to really have good data as i would think during different seasons they take in different quantities of different minerals to compensate for their pasture at that point... so think i not only need regular panels, but also need to compare like season to like season to see what is going on long -term.

another thing i like about this from the start, is if the panel shows they are short a particular mineral - do those cows naturally choose that mineral and it matches up with what the humans think, or do the cows know differently and choose different minerals? that will be fascinating to see in process. and this will be a whole new learning process for me too, this accountants isn't always naturally inclined in these types of endeavors...

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Feb 12 2016 04:59:54 AM
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Feb 12 2016 :  08:05:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Couldn't agree more. Cholesterol is the perfect example,

http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/the-great-cholesterol-myth-zmfz15ndzhou.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=11.17.15%20HW&utm_term=HW%20eNews

The only thing I'd change about the 20+ different minerals would be that they come in individual blocks the cows could lick. I fear the mess those trays are going to look like in no time at all. Even in the author's photo of her brand new set-up, you can see the mixing of them already starting to happen within a few minutes. Slobber and mighty tongues have a tendency to ...

Lead the way, Cindy! I have more questions than I have answers to when it comes to minerals and diet. I'm struggling with Eliza Belle's diet right now and just took a big helping of baking soda to her, free-choice.


MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 12 2016 :  10:06:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cindy, you said that you had been working on the pastures the last few years ... what exactly did you do to them? Did you reseed some of them and, if so, with what?

And, yes, please lead the way with all of the mineral information and then share ... I just don't have the time that I'd like to put forth with all that research.

Love this discussion ... thank you Andrea for bringing it back up and posting your links!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Feb 12 2016 :  11:08:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you are making the feeder, then you may be able to make the dividers go up higher so that the cow has to back out to get to the next supplement. That way if there was spillage it would go onto the ground instead of being mixed with the other minerals. In theory anyway...
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Feb 12 2016 :  11:59:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
good idea! i gotta get lover boy on board and let his engineering hat take over.

charlene, we have been doing quite basic stuff really - but i think that is what is missing in most places now. mostly seeding various times a year but with crops that are cut/mowed and left on the ground - so green manure stuff. lover boy is in charge of that so i don't even know everything we have seeded, my mind can only handle so much. but a few times a year i spend a couple of hours with him hand broadcasting our pastures and we are always putting out about three different types of seed.

and then of course we have been walking them and eliminating any pesky stuff before it spreads. and working on drainage constantly, to ensure water run off doesn't stand and kill our pastures . and taking down dead lumber/brush and working on tree/shade/sun balance. i don't want an empty pasture, i have to have trees.

so just good old fashioned maintenance, nothing truly special. but it goes in line with our hollistic management course for next year !

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 12 2016 :  2:47:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds great and I'm still very much looking forward to our holistic management course! Where we have spread our compost and manure from the animals' shelters, the pastures look so much greener and the grass is taller and lusher (is that a word??). And we haven't needed to reseed too much, but I'm wondering about a variety of seeds so the cows and goats have a variety of choices.

I like Keeley's suggestion for the mineral boxes ... again, so thankful for this chatroom where all of us can bounce ideas off of each other and refine other ideas!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 12 2016 :  7:13:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Cindy, Mary Jane, Keeley and Charlene for each of your insight on this! It's not something I have looked into much and thought it was an interesting concept. What I do currently is kelp meal, DE, sodium bicarb, a Redmond rock, and a loose cattle mineral. Some great points brought up and makes more sense now! Thank you :)

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 18 2016 :  08:36:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a quick update: a few weeks ago I think I mentioned what our cows' diet consisted of and MaryJane reminded me about Wick's minerals which we had just forgotten about.

We now have the cows back on 1/4 cup of minerals/day mixed in with their dairy pellets. Both Flossie's and Clover's milk production increased! A definite result to the needed minerals in their diet. And, at the moment, it works for us to just give that mixture that is pre-mixed.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 18 2016 :  09:20:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A quick note for Wick's Minerals: their website is down, but they are definitely still in business! Phone number is: 402-925-2475 (Personally I like to check things out on-line first, but they are easy to talk to about your concerns and needs!)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Shaina

32 Posts


Posted - Feb 19 2016 :  3:06:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was just wondering about minerals. Currently my heifer only has a bloat block and is given about 1/2 cup of diatomaceous earth per week. I was told that the bloat block should take care of her needs, but I think I need to look into the contents.

Here is an interesting bit on minerals, body ph, and how it might determine the sex of your calf:

There is a better, and often more certain way to obtain the sex you WANT from your best cows. That 14 year old mother cow who calves every year on a 365 day cycle without a whisper of trouble, and gives you one of the biggest calves in your herd? Wouldn’t her bull make a great herd bull for your next generation? How about that beautiful family Jersey with the world’s creamiest milk- don’t you want heifer after heifer out of her?

With careful planning and a minimum of effort and extra expense, there is an easy way to achieve the desired sex of your upcoming calf.

It has to do with the HEALTH OF YOUR COW! A cow must be well mineralized and have a body pH that is moderately alkaline to conceive a HEIFER. If her body pH is more acid, she has a high likelihood of conceiving a BULL. Yes, the bull has a hand in it, but the cow is in control. Have you ever noticed that the majority of calves in the front end of your calving season are usually heifers? Those are the healthiest cows- they bred up, or bred back, the most quickly last year. Site: (http://saboranch.com/category/dairy-cattle/jersey-cattle-for-sale/)

Edited by - Shaina on Feb 19 2016 3:18:08 PM
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Mike

1667 Posts
Mike
Argyle WI
United States of America

Posted - Feb 21 2016 :  09:21:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you.
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Feb 21 2016 :  2:29:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting article, thanks for posting!

Hobby farming with my husband & two kids in beautiful Michigan ~ 1 Jersey; Miss Persimmon, 2 Olde English Southdown ewes; Lula & Clementine, and chickens to come Spring 2016. Loving the adventure!
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 21 2016 :  4:44:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have also found that if I put apple cider vinegar in my goats' water, then I have a higher percentage of female babies. I'm wondering if that would do the same for cows? Again, the cider would be helping to change the pH balance of the goats.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Shaina

32 Posts


Posted - Feb 24 2016 :  07:51:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CloversMum,

My mom has done the same. Last year my mom made sure her goats had lots of ACV before and during breeding season. She ended up with 8 doelings, and only 2 bucks. That's 80% females. Even some sites offering gender selected semen (for cattle) say that with gender select you have a 90% chance of getting the desired gender. Only 10% chance difference in that case. Again, the 80% was with goats, and there is no guarantee that the ACV had anything to do with the outcome. Interesting though, and it might be worth a try.

Oh, and have read the same thing about PH in humans.
Why not cows?

Clover is adorable by the way. The cutest little calf I have ever seen! So petite, with the big Jersey eyes. :)
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Feb 25 2016 :  09:09:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Apple cider vinegar seems a simple solution and an easy thing to try to get more females, goat or cow. A lot less expensive than sexed semen, for sure!

Clover is a sweetie and it was such a blessing for me to get her as a calf so I could get used to her size as she grew. Remember I have several goats and I had never been around a cow and was nervous around horses.

Off to the barn as I have a goat possibly kidding today!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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Shaina

32 Posts


Posted - Feb 25 2016 :  10:54:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did your goat kid? Funny, my sister called yesterday. They had a goat kid, (one doeling). They have 4 more due next week. We plan on taking the kids over to watch, and feed babies. Growing up we always had Nubians, but now my mom has Saanens. What kind do you have?
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txbikergirl

3191 Posts


Posted - Mar 22 2016 :  5:47:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so i have been reading more about the mineral buffet and doing research since our earlier discussion above, and i found this setup that i like the best so far. its individual buckets bolted to one long piece of wood, and the buckets have space between one another to assist with keeping the minerals not all mixed up.





there is a blog about the Elliot farmstead and their approach to it https://theelliotthomestead.com/2014/08/loose-minerals-for-dairy-cows/

i think i would use a stronger type of bucket, and so looking into that now. and i would use flat back buckets ;> but its a good place to start.



Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on Mar 22 2016 5:51:14 PM
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Mar 22 2016 :  7:20:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can picture this system with heavy duty flat back buckets for sure.
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