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Working Ranch April/May 2016

manure into the liquid, causing contamination. Havenga urges folks to keep the bottles in a clean area. “Always read and follow the label,” Havenga advises. “Always follow Beef Quality Assurance guidelines. We want to produce a good quality beef product, so inject cattle subcutaneously. The most important thing is to always, always stick to the dose on the label. People think a little is good, so a lot is better. It doesn’t work that way. You’re defi nitely going to increase the risk of toxicity if you don’t follow label directions. We’re seeing people give three or four times the dose listed on the label. That is not smart. Finally, talk to your vet about when, where and how to use the stuff—you’ll have a pleasant experience and not have any risk with it.” Although these mineral supplements are vital to herd health, they pose a major input cost. When producers correctly use and store the minerals that work best for their operations, they will save both time and money as they ensure herd health. them after they have been soiled. Low-moisture molasses tubs are dark in color, which protects the product from damaging UV light. During and after a shower, cattle drink water from the tub, then lick the rain-softened surface with very little loss of nutients. Tubs placed in direct sun easily run 20 degrees hotter than the same product placed in shade. Excessive heat may soften the block, allowing a higher intake. Robbins recommends placing tubs in the shade, if possible, to protect vitamins that are exposed on the surface and to better control intake. “Depending on the type of block and the formula, tubs cost from fi fty to one hundred dollars or more,” Robbins says. “You want to take good care of them. Leaving them lying on their side in the back of the pickup is not good. If they get hot enough, they will fl ow out of the containers. If you’re not going to feed them right away, move them into a cool, dry shed or barn on a pallet, so they’re off the ground, and away from pests.” Injectable minerals are an innovative supplement that come in several formulations. Produced by several companies, the bottles are boxed to protect ingredients from light. Trace minerals are dissolved in water, then bottled in a clear container. Injectables with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, are mixed with water and oil to make a suspension, which must be shaken before each use. This product is packaged in an amber bottle to protect it from sunlight. Storage is simple. Maintain injectables between 59 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping them out of direct sunlight. Lourens Havenga, veterinarian and CEO of Multimin, USA, reports the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all minerals for beef cattle, including this product. Rigorous testing has determined that injectables have a two-year shelf life when kept in the recommended temperature range and out of direct sunlight. Havenga has seen ranchers store the product in a wooden crate next to the chute because they plan to use it within three months. This storage strategy is far from ideal because dust and manure can get on the rubber stopper. When the producer injects the syringe, he transfers dirt and APRIL / MAY 2016 I WORKING RANCH I 39


Working Ranch April/May 2016
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