Monday, May 23, 2011

Flintstone Vitamins for Cows

Cows, just like humans need vitamins and minerals that their bodies cannot make. When I was a kid my mom gave us a Flintstone Vitamin in the morning to help us grow strong bones and obtain the nutrients not available in our diet. On Monday night, Adam and I went to a few pastures where our cows are to give them their "Flintstone Vitamins." The sack Adam has on his shoulder is chock full of essential nutrients a cow needs to develop and support the growth of a calf during the summer months.

This sack of mineral contains vitamins such as A, D and E. Minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, salt, selenium, and zinc. It also contains an ingredient called IGR. IGR is an additive that prevents adult horn fly emergence from the manure of treated cattle. When used as directed all natural IGR will provide sufficient (S)-Methoprene insect growth regulator to prevent the emergence of adult horn flies. This is important because the horn fly is one of the most important and economically damaging pest of range cattle. In the United States horn flies cost cattle producers approximately $876 million every year.

The facts about IGR:
~Adult flies migrate from other herds. IGR feed thru does not kill adult flies.
~IGR unique ingredient, Methoprene, even controls horn flies resistant to the organophophates and parathyroid commonly used in conventional horn fly control products.
~Scientists estimate that an economical, effective program keeps the fly population below 200 files per animal.
~IGR prevents the flies from successfully multiplying, breaking the life cycle.
Facts about IGR were collected from Positive Feed Ltd.

Several university studies indicate internal parasites can reduce digestive efficiency by 10% or more. At a cost of a little more than $3 per head, you can eliminate internal parasites and improve the cow's overall digestibility. The increase in nutrient absorption will pay more than $3 in the first week alone. Cows not loaded with parasites also shed winter hair sooner, stay in better body condition, breed back sooner and produce more milk. Cattle grazing grass very close to the ground are even more susceptible to internal parasites. This information was provided from Cooperative Farming News

You may be wondering about the environmental impact of IGR, and whether or not this chemical compound makes it to your dinner table. I was interested in learning about this too and did some research to find out more. This information was provided from

The Environmental Fate of IGR

Persistance and Movement in the Soil: The half-life of (S)-Methoprene under aerobic (with oxygen) conditions in sandy loam is approximately ten days when applied at the exaggerated rate of 1000 g/Ha. Most of the applied dose is converted rapidly to CO2. (S)-Methoprene remains bound in the top few centimeters of the soil even after repeated washings with water. Thus, it should not persist, leach or contaminate ground water.

Fate in Plants: When applied at the rate of 1000 g/Ha on alfalfa, (S)-Methoprene has a half-life of less than two days and less than one day on rice. It is metabolized rapidly, yielding products that are further degraded to normal plant nutrients.

Fate in the Food Chain: In a model ecosystem study, it was shown that (S)-Methoprene does not accumulate in the food chain. It was demonstrated that biodegradation and lack of persistance characterize (S)-Methoprene in the environment.

Persistance in the Water: In the field, (S)-Methoprene has a half-life of 30-45 hours in unsterilized pond water. If the water is exposed to sunlight, the half-life is significantly reduced.

From this information you can rest assured that this chemical compound does not end up on your dinner plate, and degrades quickly once it reaches the soil and water sources. The mineral we feed our cows gives them the nutrition they need, protection from parasites, and the chemical is safe for the environment, making this the ultimate Flintstone Vitamin for cattle.

Putting the mineral in the feeder.

The mineral feeder. The cows come up to
this, take a few licks, then go about their day.

You can faintly make out the cows grazing in
the valley.

I love this picture! The view doesn't get much better
than this. Adam, looking at the cows while the sun is
setting on the horizon.

Cows grazing in the pasture.

Happy cows come from Kansas too!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing. I linked it to a post where I share a lil about our mineral program (


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