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David Davis
21262 Genoa Road
Linneus, MO 64653
Phone: 660 895-5121
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Email: DavisDK@missouri.edu

May 5, 2004

Forage Systems Update
Vol 13, No. 2

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Evaluating Mix 30 as a Brood Cow Supplement

The following is a modification of a report from a supplementation study that Chris Zumbrunnen (our area Extension Livestock Specialist) conducted during the summer of 2003. He conducted this study to gather observational information on beef cow performance when fed Mix 30. FSRC only had one small group of beef cattle available to use for this purpose due to other experimental needs. Chris recently reported this information in an Extension Newsletter.

Over the past year or so I have received numerous questions from producers asking about using a product called Mix 30 for a cow supplement and what, if any, information the University had on it. In cooperation with Harris Distributing of Bloomfield IA and Agridyne, LLC of Springfield IL we ran a small study last summer (2003) to see what affect Mix 30 had. We used 31 fall calving two year olds who had just weaned their first calf. The cattle were split into two treatment groups and placed in side by side pastures with the only difference being that one group had free choice Mix 30 from May 20th until October 2nd. We collected data on several variables that Mix 30 was reported to influence. These included weight gain and body condition, fly counts on the cattle, heat tolerance and hay and mineral consumption.

This wasn't a large enough study to draw a lot of statistical conclusions from (and that wasn't our goal) but there are some definite trends. We did see an increase in cow weight gain in the Mix 30 group, which would be expected with supplemental feed (Table 1). We also saw the decrease in consumption of Mix 30 that was promised the longer period of time cattle were fed the product (Table 2). We were told that these cattle would average 1.5 to 2 pounds per head per day in a year's time period. We never got that low and one of my concerns was that when we started feeding hay during August (due to the ongoing drought) we saw a fairly rapid increase in consumption that did drop off when the cattle had grass again. With the increased consumption when the cattle were fed hay and the fact that our low consumption only dropped to 3 pounds per day it appears to me it would be hard to have average consumption for the year in that 2 pounds per day range. Figuring the daily average consumption of 5.09 pounds and the price of the product at that time the additional feed cost of using the product was $46.38 during the 5/20 to 10/2 period.

We observed a fairly large drop (up to 50%) in fly counts on the Mix 30 fed cattle (Table 3). Weekly fly counts were made starting in mid July. It is interesting to note that one of the main ingredients in Mix 30 is condensed distillers solubles. Work in Nebraska has shown a consistent reduction in flies on cattle being fed distillers solubles. The last time I checked distillers soluables were about 1 cents per pound delivered in the North Central Missouri area. Producers using the by-product are reporting the same type of decreased fly counts that we saw.

We experienced a dryer than normal summer and had about 30 days of hay feeding from mid August to mid September. The Mix 30 fed cows consumed less hay by about 1 pounds per day (Table 4). They also consumed approximately 25% less mineral per day during the summer than the control cows (Table 5). The lower mineral consumption was in line with what we were told to expect but the reduction we saw in hay consumption was considerable less that what was promised.

Respiration rate can be used as a measure of heat stress in cattle. Because this study was run in a non-replicated experiment we cannot draw statistical conclusions, however, the respiration data collected (Table 6) indicates that Mix 30 may have helped reduce respiration rate in cattle. A replicated experiment designed to test these effects would need to be conducted to determine if feeding Mix 30 actually reduces heat stress in cattle.

Table 1. Cow Performance Data

 
Start
Mid
End
Calf
Weight (lbs)
BCS
Weight (lbs)
BCS
Weight (lbs)
BCS
Birth Weight
MIX 30
1,189
5.4
1,336
6.4
1,427
7.1
74.3
CONTROL
1,175
5.5
1,280
6.3
1,362
6.8
73.1

Table 2. Average Daily MIX 30 Consumption

5/20-6/4 6/5-6/26 6/27-7/31 8/1-8/13 8/14-9/14 9/15-10/2
Avg Trial
     
(Hay Feeding)
 
Avg Daily Consumption
6.25
7.95
4.88
3.2
3.78
2.99
5.09
(pounds per hd/day)

Table 3. Average Fly Counts

Date
Face Flies
Horn Flies
Horse Flies
MIX 30
Control
MIX 30
Control
MIX 30
Control
17-Jul
3
5
11
21
0
0
23-Jul
2
5
10
18
0
0
30-Jul
5
8
17
30
0
0
5-Aug
6
11
31
47
0
0
13-Aug
6
9
21
52
0
0
20-Aug
5
10
34
67
0
2
27-Aug
6
10
33
64
1
1.5
3-Sep
9
12
46
90
1.5
2
10-Sep
11
19
61
142
1.75
2.5

Table 4. Hay Consumption

 
Total pounds fed
8/14/2003 to 9/14/2003
avg/hd/d
MIX 30
8,400
18.06
Control
8,400
19.35

Table 5. Mineral Cunsumption

 
5/20 - 7/8
7/9 - 8/1
8/2 - 9/2
9/3 - 10/2
Avg. lbs/hd
(lbs/hd/d)
(lbs/hd/d)
(lbs/hd/d)
(lbs/hd/d)
(lbs/hd/d)
MIX 30 0.25 0.28 0.22 0.22 0.24
Control 0.29 0.45 0.16 0.36 0.32

Table 6. Animal Respiration Data

Climatological Statistics at Time of Observation
Average Respiration Rate
Date
Temp (°F)
Humidity (%)
Sky Condition
MIX 30
Control
17-Jul
76.6
81
Cloudy
64
65.5
23-Jul
64.2
73
Cloudy
52
52.5
30-Jul
73.8
65
Cloudy
70
67
5-Aug
70
88
Pt. Cloudy
51.5
65.5
13-Aug
67.6
96
Cloudy
57
53.5
20-Aug
79.9
77
Cloudy
79.5
81
27-Aug
74.3
78
Cloudy
66.5
71
3-Sep
63.3
98
Cloudy
60.5
66.5
10-Sep
66.9
88
Cloudy
56.5
60.5
15-Sep
57.9
88
Cloudy
59.5
62

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