Easy DIY mineral feeder
For very little cost, you can repurpose commonly cast-off items to construct a sturdy, portable mineral feeder. North Carolina State University animal scientist Matt Poore, PhD, demonstrates how to build the feeders in a video available online. He uses a plastic 55-gallon barrel and a large truck tire. The barrel fits into the tire, held with bolts that extend into, but not through, the tire, allowing some movement of the barrel. Poore then cuts an 18-inch hole with a reciprocating saw, with the bottom of the hole in line with the top of the tire. He suggests using blue or black barrels, which will last up to five years in the field. The white barrels are less sturdy and will wear out in about two years. As an option, you can bolt wooden runners to the bottom of the tire for towing across rough terrain. The feeders will hold about 100 pounds of mineral, enough to supplement 35 to 40 cows, and can easily be towed to new locations with an ATV.
View the YouTube video at youtu.be/ZlnDfWWeJd8.
Concurrent or selective parasite control?
The goal of any parasite-control plan is to make sure the maximum number of the highest-priority parasites is eliminated and you decrease parasite resistance in your herd. There are two types of parasite-control programs that producers can utilize:
• A CONCURRENT PARASITE-CONTROL protocol is based on a one-time, multi-product treatment. A concurrent protocol may be utilized when a producer only handles the cattle once, or it is determined by fecal eggcount diagnostics that the parasite population is most effectively controlled by a combination of products administered together.
• A SELECTIVE PARASITE-CONTROL program deploys a sequence of treatments, typically at times when cattle would otherwise be handled, such as at weaning and branding. The sequence of products is determined based on the lifecycle and prevalence of the parasites present.
“The decision should be based on your goals, your experience, information and the counsel of your local veterinarian, which is extremely important to helping you decide which protocol to use,” says veterinarian Doug Ensley, with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
Questions to Consider
Before determining whether a concurrent or selective deworming protocol is right for you, Ensley recommends discussing the following topics with your local veterinarian:
• What time of year will you process your cattle?
• How many times do you process your cattle during the year?