information or experiance do you have with Diatomaceous Earth as a feed additve in Dairy, Beef, and Horse Feed? Also what information do you have on its use as a dewormer?

--Sherry Vera have had extensive experience with Zeolite, but only little with Diatomaceous earth (Diatomite). There are several large mines in Idaho and Eastern Oregon. You may want to contact Teague Minerals Company, Glen Teague, 503-339-4385 for further information.

-- Chuck Hurst want to know what is beta carotene and it's important in cattle feed. do you have recent research regarding to beta carotene. Urgently need your reply

--may carotine is the precursor of vitamin A. Excess vitamin A is stored as carotine in body fat. We now know that beta carotine is quite resposible for efficient and increased immune response.

-- Chuck Hurst regards to the article on your web page, titled "Ruminant Nutrition News," subtitle "Use liver biopsy to check for your cow's trace mineral levels". I would like to know more about liver biopsies; the procedures, equipment and supplies needed, and so forth. Your information would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Wayne Hinnaland

--Wayne Hinnaland Dr. Ray Ansotegui at MSU - he has a video of the proceedure. 1-406-994-5569

-- Chuck Hurst have a 10 month old heifer calf that is not thrifty despite regular drenching. She is not growing as big as our other calves and has a "bloated" appearance which is not symmetrical ie higher on LHS lower on RHS. She was treated for a viral pneumonia several months ago and that seems to have been her downfall. Prior to then she was a healthy, robust calf. She is on excellent pasture but where do you suggest we start with her.?

--Jack McGrath't spend a lot of time or money on her. She is most likely never going to do very well, as her lungs are probably disabled. Although she may do well as a mature animal, she will not do you any good in a show.

-- Chuck Hurst Angus calves are born in March and April in Wisconsin. We creep feed them with a mix of corn, Oats, soyhulls and a steer mineral . At weaning we limit them to 6# of grain mix and mature mixed grass hay free choice. When we try to feed the hay free choice, bloat occurs. We have had much better luck with pure grass hay and Late harvested hay. But we had one bloat again this year. We have an extensive vaccination program pre weaning including clostridia. Our calves appear to simply want to eat too much. Suggestions would certainly be appreciated. Thanks

--Jerry Lausted feeding 0.75 oz. powdered dishwasher detergent per head per day. I usually mix in with grain. You can also mix 5# dishwasher soap in a 50 lb bag of loose salt and present free choice. This really does work.

-- Chuck Hurst have an AngusX steer in my 4-H group which will not seem to make finish. He is on Farmers best finisher (as all 6 steers in the project) with up to 50% (at times) corn added. He weighs 1100 lbs and we are 30 days to fair. He is lean, muscular but will not finish. There is a ridge on his back and no fat deposits. He is currently on a total of 24lbs. feed a day. We are going to start adding corn oil, should we be giving beet pulp or anything else to which would promote finish.

--Bryan Bobrosky all you 4Hers: Feed 1.5% of the steer's weight in grain until 60-70 days before fairtime. Then increase Grain to 2% of body weight. Also add 1 cup corn oil to the grain at this time. Make sure that: 1. the steers have an adequate supply of free choice salt and a good mineral containing 12% phosphorus and at least 8% calcium: 2. The hay is high quality with at least 16% protein; 3. That the water supply is clean and drinkable (most beef animals will drink 4 ponds of water for every pound of feed consumed). Feed your steer twice daily (morning and night as close to the same time each day as possible). Divide the hay and grain evenly. If you are feeding corn only you will have to buy 1/2 pound per head per day of a 32% protein supplement Your steers will probably consume 3% of their body weight ( 800 lb steer should get 12 pounds grain [1.5%]and 12 pounds hay). Do not try to over feed your steer, but make sure he is cleaning up his feed each day. Most people try to over feed their animals, which leads to terrible digestive problems. Implant your steer if you want the best performance. Do not use anabolic implants. If you have trouble with bloat feed 1 ounce dishwasher detergent in the daily grain. If your steer quits eating he is probably feed sick. Feed him 3 oz. Arm & Hammer Bicarbonate of soda and 1 packet of common bread yeast per day for 3-5 days. Please contact me again if you have further problems. Chuck Hurst Beef Nutritionist Nutritech, Inc. http:\\

-- Chuck Hurst how much should you feed a baby calf?

--Sara much as it can eat. You must make sure there is enough protein, energy, and minerals for growth though. Most baby calves will consume 3.5-3.7% of their body weight in dry matter feed every day.

-- Chuck Hurst much Crude Fiber is Needed in a ration for show heifers and show steers?

--Phil Gentry the heifers do not require much energy the fiber requirements are not particularly important. They are met by the abundance of hay in the ration. Steers, however, can become acitotic if fed a ration with less than 5.5 - 6.5 % acid detergent fiber in a finishing ration being fed for 110-135 days.

-- Chuck Hurst a question about cows really i am doing an a-level chemistry practical comparing and analysing the constituents of grass and milk. could you give me information about how the cow functions to change compounds in grass into milk i.e. ruminant nutrition thanx reply to:

--km the National Reasearch Council's "Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle" and Morrison's "Feed & Feeding. You'll get a pretty good idea by then.

-- Chuck Hurst are the direct benifits from treating livestock with antibiotics?

--james fernella perform better, fewer get sick, and fewer die. The problem is: feeding low level antibiotics continuously contributes to genetic alteration of the target bacteria; producing antibiotic resistant organisms. Use caution when treating animals for sickness that you use the labled dosage.

-- Chuck Hurst are some of the effects of feeding fat on nutrition ? Why are there different results between different types of fat fed, for example, why do you see different results with oleic acid verses linoleic acid?

--Julie S. are used by any animal as a source of energy or energy storage. When you feed fat to ruminants the conversion is approximately 1 pound of fat is equal to 2.5 pounds of corn. When feeding fats you should chose a fat that is consistant and high in quality. Consistancy of the fat is the most importand. Don't worry about the fatty acid chains - unless you're doing some sort of research. Be sure, when feeding high amounts of fat (3-6% of diet) that there is plenty of calcium in the diet.

-- Chuck Hurst would i find information about rumensin and its use in horses. i have a feeling it is toxic to horses and would like to find documentation to substinsiate or refute that hypothesis.

--maureen, and any of the ionophore for that matter, are extremely dangerous to horses, causing nervous disorders and eventual death. DO NOT FEED RUMENSIN OR ANY OTHER IONOPHORE TO HORSES!!

-- Chuck Hurst, what is your opinion of corn gluten. we were thinking about feeding 3 lbs per day to our beef cows on grass. and 10lbs to our calves that wieght 525lbs avg. we are hoping for a 3lbs per day gain on the steers. and 2.5 on the heifers. thank you.

--steve smith glutin is an excellent source of high quality protein and energy. You need to keep energy levels up to sustain the gains you're requesting, but extremely high dietary protein can be a problem. After the protein requirements are men grains are what are used for diatary energy.

-- Chuck Hurst would like to now more about beef cattle nutrition?

--Jimmy James the book "Feeds and Feeding" by Morrison from your library. It is the most comprehensive text available for begining nutritionists.

-- Chuck Hurst for just now. what i would to know is what is the meaning of the relative nutritive value of c3 and c4 forage? my e-mail add. hopefully u can ans. my question a.s.a.p. thanx.

--siva feed value compares one feed against another. For instance with alfalfa 18% protein, 32% adf, is used as a "normal feed". A relitave feed value is any other sample's comparison to that standard. What C3 or C4 forage is I don't know.

-- Chuck Hurst need some information concerning the economic effects of using growth promotants on beef cattle. Graphs would be helpful. I am a friend of Richard Bradbury at Easter Oregon University. Thanks, Scott Wright

--Scott Wright Dr. Pete Anderson, Vetlife - implants, 913-492-6600

He has all the research information from the last 20 years.

-- Chuck Hurst i have a picture of a cows liver

--molly hassin don't think there are any laws against it, Molly.

No, really, you can get a picture of a cow's liver by calling Jay Runner, Elanco, at 208-286-9203. They have tons of them.


--justin clarkston best I have seen is the Canadian book of Feed Analysis. The NRC "Nutrient Requirements of Beef (or Dairy)cattle" has a pretty extensive listing too. Go to my link page and click on Academy Press.

-- Chuck Hurst you have any info on chaffhaye?

--ranwo97 suspect you mean chaff hay. It really depends on the plant the chaff is derived from. Most chaff in a byproduct of the seed industry and is the rest of the plant at a very mature and undigestable state. We use a great deal of grass seed chaff in Idaho and Washington when the price of alfalfa is too high for feeding beef cattle.

-- Chuck Hurst is Bovatec?

--Tim is a feed additive called an ionophore. It is one of several available on the market.

Bovatec reduces the amount of inefficeint acid (butyric acid)produceing microbes in the rumin, leaving room for more efficient acid (proprionic acid) produceing microbes, thus increasing the average daily gain and feed efficiency of the ruminant without changing the ration.

-- Chuck Hurst beef cows are hooked on this mineral I live in north Alamama please tell me if i am over or under on these ingredients. medicated chlortetracycline......................400Mg/lb.

calacium maximum..........................19.00%

calacium minimum..........................16.00%

phosphorus minimum..........................6.00%

salt maximum..........................21.00%

salt min ..........................19.00%

magnesium min ..........................4.00%

potassium min .......................... .60%

sulfur min .......................... .60%

iodine min .......................... .004%

selenium min .......................... .0026%

vitamin A usp units per pound min................ 400,000

vit D3 " min................ 45,000

vit E " min................ 65

i add 1.5 lbs. of mag. oxide to this from dec.-may

--Steve looks like a dairy or beef finishing mineral to me (take note 4H-ers). I would recommend you invert the Ca:P ratio for beef to about 12% Phosphorus and 6-8% Calcium.

Also,because this mineral has adequate magnesium and if you are feeding this all the time, there is probably no need to add the Magox (for grass tetany) in the spring.

-- Chuck Hurst is a ruminant? Would a nonruminant or a ruminants survive longer if there was a food shortage.

--rachel papenhausen ruminant is an animal with 4 stomach compartments which ferment grasses and forages to extract their energy and protein needs. Examples are cattle, deer & elk, buffalo, antelope and sheep. Some animals, like horses, rabbits and elephants have a true stomach, but ferment the fiberous portions of their food in the large intestine.

Because ruminants live on grass, forage and high fiber feeds they do have an advantage over monogastric (humans, pigs, chickens) animals if the high density feeds required by these animals disappear. The other advantage - for humans - is that we can feed low quality plants and food processing byproducts (potatoes, beans, tomatoes, ect.) to beef or dairy cows and produce the high density foods we need, such as meat and milk.

-- Chuck Hurst Cyber-cow-people!!! Many of the people sending inquirys are not leaving the proper e-mail address or no e-mail address at all. Due to the shear volume of inquirys I cannot adequately answer these questions by mail.

Included are:

Dr. Calvin DeVries, Iowa

Calista MacKay, Colorado

Gerrit Ebersohn, South Africa

Steve Shockley, Alabama

Andres Galeno, Chile

Please leave your e-mail address!!!

--From Chuck Hurst Chuck Hurst does nutrition apply to math?

--bob smith does not apply to math. We use math as an important tool to calculate nutritional need. In that context, math is extremely important in the appliction of nutrition.

-- Chuck Hurst much do wapiti weigh

--keith (elk to all you guys) weigh as much as 500 pounds of feathers.

-- Chuck Hurst am currently feeding a 4-5% magnesium mineral to my cow herd pre-breeding/breeding. Is it necessary to increase to a 14% level when I turn my cows out on grass in the spring? Or can I continue feeding a good mineral supplement containing 4-5% magnesium? Also, how many grams of mag. does a cow need during the ""critical" period? Also, what form of mag. do you recommend?

--Terry Hejny have, over the years, decided that continual feeding of supplemental Magnesium is better than large doses at grass tetany suseptability time frames. The 4-5% Mg mineral is adequate if the consumption is consistant and adequate. If 20% of your animals are not eating the mineral, you can see, they will give you problems as though you were not feeding anything.

-- Chuck Hurst much of a role does cobalt play as a trace mineral especially w.r.t.cow fertility and what should the levels be in natural grazing

--DAVE LEGG is require to assimilate Vitamins. Cobalt deficient cattle usually show the same symptoms as vitamin B12 deficiency. Usually consumption is greatly effected. Almost all natural forages have enough cobalt. There are some regions of the US taht are cobalt deficient. All trace mineral supplements added to feed or macro minerals have cobalt in them.

-- Chuck Hurst differnt types of beef cattle are there? Can you please lit them for me?

--Rachel are many types, all of which cannot be listed here. Any cattlemen's magazine will list many in the advertizing section.

-- Chuck Hurst are by pass proteins and their importance.

-- pass, or undigested intake proteins, are proteins that escape digestion in the rumen and are cosequently digested in the true stomach. Only within the last 15 years have we defined their impotance in promoting the efficient utilization of feed.

-- Chuck Hurst dad is wanting to get into the farming community but I have to do resurch because he dosen't want to buy cattle, goats, and chickens unless he can make a descent profit. Can you make money off of these animals?

--Stephanie Burkich would reccomend a cat farm. Raise rats to feed the cats. You can sell the cat fur for a profit and feed the rats the cat carcasses. Pretty efficient eh?

Then breed the cats to snakes and they'll skin theirselves, eliminating all work.

-- Chuck Hurst can I find information on Synovex-C. I know it is an ionophore but what is it comperable to? On the average in a range situation how much additional gain can be expected if CP%=7.59 and DOM%=58.28. Lets say half are on it and half are not. The average animal weighs 1000 lbs. Is it worth the investment?

--Lane - c is not an ionophore, it's a growth implant.

I don't understand your last question at all.

-- Chuck Hurst son came across a word while doing a science assignment which we cannot find a definition for. Can you help us? The word is "ionphore" or "ionophore". Thank you.

--Glenda are feed treatment products used by the cattle industry to increase the efficiency of production. They are inert substances that promote the growth of energy efficient micro-organisms over the growth of in-efficeint micro-organisms, thus causing the ruminant animal to realize more energy from treated feed.

-- Chuck Hurst are some of the bacteria that's in the beef?

--Helen same that are in you and me.

-- Chuck Hurst need a brief summary of what each type of beef operation is. Like feedlot, backgrounding, cow/calf, purebred, commercial, and stockers

--Benita gotta be kidding.

-- Chuck Hurst Do you have any "tricks" to encourage newly weaned backgrounding calves to adequate amounts of rations to maintain maximum growth rates. 2. How is marbling measured in a) a live animal b) a carcass

--Tania Luders - Supply a high energy, high protein, palitable feed to the newly weaned calf. Excellent feed combinations are Soy hulls, sunflower hulls, beet pulp, corn, high quality alfalfa. Make sure that clean water is available and that the calf can find it.

2. Marbling is measured on the carcass by cutting the rib between the 12th and 13 rib and visually appraising the marbling in the rib eye. Recently developed ultra sound techniques have been developed to determine the marbling of a live animal. The results are excellent and are helping producers feed cattle to a proper stage of finish.

-- Chuck Hurst would i find information on different nutrional values of different feeds

--tim of the best is the National Research Council's "Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle"

-- Chuck Hurst is the largest percent of copper should be used in beef?

--Susan Burklund the requirements are 6-8 mg / lb or 15 ppm. Copper absorbtion is very much affected by the presence of Molybdinum, Sulphur and Iron. Any of these elements, when present in extraordinary amounts can effect copper absorbtion.

-- Chuck Hurst you give me a list of feed rations?

--jason what Jason? That's a pretty broad question.

-- Chuck Hurst've been hearing that Jersey beef has less fat content than many other breeds. Do you know where I can find information or reasearch on this topic?

--David Plympton beef may have less seam (intramuscular) fat, but is well known for it's ability to marble (intermuscular fat) easily. I would suggest you look to your University's Meat Science department for more information.

-- Chuck Hurst much can "minerals" that are sold in the feed store help me?

--Stan Donnely produced by companies within your area can be extremely helpful in enhancing production and health. In some cases you may want to consult a local nutritionist (not a feed salesman) about special requirements in your area, such as Selenium, Copper, or Zinc deficiencies or toxicities indigenous to your location. Beware of Minerals produced in the midwest and sold in the west. Most western soils demand far greater supplementation of Phosphorus, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, because of the high molybdenum content.

-- Chuck Hurst am a Veterinary Technician Major and am doing a research paper on Nutrition of the heifer from weaning until first partrition. I am looking at what the ideal feed would be as well as the body weight gain for an average heifer. I would appreciate any help or information that you might have that I could use. Thankyou.

--Katrina Wagner;

There is no ideal feed for raising dairy heifers. You need to use the feeds available t you locally that will fill the nutrient requirements of the animal form calf to springing heifer. The nutrient requirements vary greatly between these stages of growth: from a high protein, high energy ration as neonatal calves to a low energy high roughage ration as springers.

The ideal daily gain for dairy heifers is 2.5 - 3.0 pounds per day from neonatal calves until they weigh 500 pounds; 2.0 pounds per day from 500 to 825 (when they are bred) and 1.5 pounds a day from settling until springing.

Please go to the library and look for the National Academy of Science book called "Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle". there you will find much information on the specific nutrient needs of dairy heifers.

Or go to my "links" tab and look for the National Academy of Science publications link. Click on it and you will find what you want.

-- Chuck Hurst are the benifits of being a ruminant?

--John animals can thrive on low quality, high fiber diets, whereby monogastric animals must have very dense, high energy diets.

-- Chuck Hurst do feel about feathermeal as a protein source in liquid feed?

--Ray McElhaney Ray;

Not very good.

The use of feathermeal is not a problem. The problem lies in the quality of the feathermeal. Feathemeal is hydrolyzed, or broken down with the use of base solutions. This process is time consuming and can be expensive. A usual method of determining quality of feather meal is to ask the PIN, or % protein insoluble nitrogen. It should be 80 or better.

Feather meal is an excellent source of protein, particularly by-pass or UIP protein, although the amino acid profile is poor and not the best available. You must be cognisant of your cattle's requirement for soluble and degraded intake protein (DIP), one of which would come partially from the urea in the liquid feed and the other from the ration (I would presume).

Be aware that the liquid feed industry has a problem with inclusion of very much natural protein into their formulations, particularly self fed formulations. Featermeal is one source which they can use. If you need other protein sources, such as plant protein or undegraded proteins with high lysine or methionine, you should investigate further.

-- Chuck Hurst chuck,

1. how much of the following can be mixed in cattle fattening ration:rice bran, pollard, copra meal, corn grain (whole), fish meal, and other feed sources?

2. Can a have an example of a cattle concentrate using a. rice bran, corn grain, copra meal, fish meal, molasses b. pollard, corn, copra meal, molasses

3. how much freshly cut roughage can we feed to cattle using above cattle concentrate

4. what is by-pass protein?

thanks and more power. marr

--marriola It depends on what you are expecting the performance to be.

2.This would require a great deal of formulating. I would require more information to accurately be of service.

3.That depends on the type of roughage and the performance requirements you demand of the cattle.

4.By-pass or undegrade intake protein is that portion of dietary protein which escapes degridation or fermintation in the rumen and is used in the lower gut similarly to monogastric animals. We now know that cattle of all kinds perform better when the UIP is balanced along with the other protein types.

If you want further information please contact me by e-mail and I will determine a complete answer and consulting fee.

-- Chuck Hurst'm a new comer to the world of beef and ruminant animals I'm looking to breed pinzgauer cattle and I also have one simbrah, What exactly do I need to feed to get optimal succes in weight gain and healthy cattle herd? At the present time I feed HFM beef finisher but that is it and the herd also has a mineral block out in the pasture. PLEASE HELP? William E. Sanchez Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch P.O. Box 2013 Boys Ranch, Fl. 32064

--William E. Sanchez's a mighty big question William!!

Your cattle need a combination of energy, protein, fiber, and minerals which all vary according to the age, size, and performance requirements. Also the feeds available to you at your operation determine the most optimal supplementation program.

Please purchase the NRC publication "Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle" (go to my links tab and click on the National Research Counsil" link) and do a little studying. If you have questions please contact me again.


--Scott Manes formula is easy!

Divide the price of the hay by the protein content. Then divide the price of the cubes by their protein content. Compare the two prices.

For instance:

If 17% alfalfa costs $120 then the cost of protein

=120 / 17 = $7.05

If 20% protein cubes cost $165 then the cost of protein

=165 / 20 = $8.25

In this case the cost of protein per pound is cheapest with the alfalfa.

Also you can figure the pounds of cube require to replace alfalfa by dividing the percent protein of the cube into the percent protein in the alfalfa.

Thus if you have 15% protein alfalfa and 20% protein cube the equation is:

15 / 20 = .75 pounds of cube for every pound of alfalfa fed.

inversely: 20 / 15 = 1.33 pounds of alfalfa to replace one pound of 20% cubes.

-- Chuck Hurst is MSE?

--?? is a mirobial and enzyme innoculant used to increase performance in ruminant animals. For all the information available click om MSE at the home page: http:\\

-- Chuck Hurst am doing a paper for college and I need some information on the mature beef cow. Can you please help me? Thanks!

--luke'll need to ask a more specific question than that. I could write all day about mature cows and never get close to finishing all that is known.

-- Chuck Hurst are Organic Beef producers in New Mexico, and would like to know how to apply MSE to our cattle which are range fed. We supplement them with organic alfalfa and sudan grass, along with trace mineral salt. What do you suggest we supply our cattle with the MSE to get the most of our forage and supplemental feed. Max Tenorio NM organic Beef Producer ID #114

--Max Tenorio can use MSE on the range quite profitably. I use it in my range minerals at the rate of 66 pounds per ton for a mineral that is designed for three ounce per day consumption.

Mature cows being fed MSE in the fall and winter on nutritionally marginal forages benefit the most from MSE in their mineral.

-- Chuck Hurst sister has a dairy herd. Recently, she signed up, through an agriculture association, which put her on a list at a local bakery, to pick up day-old bread for feeding to the cows. The cows eat the bread, but she is wondering what is safe to feed to the cows, how much to feed, and the nutritional benefits if any...or the risks. I was amazed at how much bread and other baked goods are discarded daily in such a way...and the cost is only $15.00 per load, regardless of how much you take. She knows of other herdsmen who also pick up the bread to feed, but no one really knows exactly how much to feed for sure, or whether it is actually beneficial in any sort of way. If you know about any other such practices, could you please advise? Thank you, Martha.


You should consider the bread as a grain source. However since wheat is the grain used for bread and pastries, and because it is finely ground before use, you may want to limit the use of these products to 1/2 the total gain, or about 8 pounds for high producing cows.

Also, because the wheat flour is so finely ground, and consequently the cows will ferment it very quickly, you should consider feeding 3-5 ounces of Soda-Bicarb (Arm & Hammer baking soda) per head per day to reduce the possibility of acidosis.



I dont kow exactly what kind of beef your finished product must be. If it is the equivalent of US Select beef you would probably be successfull.

Quickly growing grasses can produce as much as 3.0 pounds (1.4 kg) gain per day, depending on the cattle. Grasses which are growing in the spring have enough protein and energy to get good performance with light cattle. This period only lasts for about 45 days. After the initial 45 - 60 days the cattle must be much larger to get the kind of gains you may be expecting.

Also you should adjust the protein / mineral balances to provide efficient gains. If you would like to know more please e-mail me at (there are no return e-mails adresses with this Q&A section.)


-- Chuck Hurst am a student doing a literature review on the use of yeast as a feed supplement for dairy cattle. The studies I have found don't seem too consistent. What's your take on this??? I could really use your advice for my paper. Thanks

--Kyle Cope think that if the rations were made nutritionally static, particularly for protein and potassium against production:body weight, you would see a fairly reliable increase in consumption with the addition of yeast to the ration. Yeast effects consumption, as do protein, potassium, and production:body weight in dairy cattle. If any one of these are different dry matter consumption can be altered.

-- Chuck Hurst am a college senior doing a paper to back up the beef industry, even though it is the killing of animals. As you can tell it is an ethics class on Animal rights. I would appreciate any information you can send me regarding how many people you employ, range of jobs done at your facility, and any critical information that would support what you do. Thank you...

--Corrie like you've got your mind made up.

I employ only myself. I provide nutritional information concerning beef to beef producers, hopefully to enhance their production and profitability.

This is not a forum for vegetarian or animal rights activists, and no others will be answered.

You have to kill vegetables too you know.

-- Chuck Hurst