Traditionally, most cow-calf producers consider feeding total mixed rations (TMR) only during calving and early lactation, as well as perhaps, ideally, during late gestation. However, there are a number of other opportunities during the fall for supplemental feeding with a vertical TMR mixer that can be used to extend the grazing season, as well as improve calf health and growth performance post-weaning.
Go to any farm equipment show, or “surf” the internet, and you will see there are a wide range of makes and models of TMR mixer on the market today, which can make selecting the right one for you a bit confusing. In this issue we will look at the origin and key differences between the two main classifications of mixers that are available today, namely, Horizontal and Vertical mixers.
HORIZONTAL TMR MIXERS
When this column started, we encouraged our readers to forward their comments, questions and suggestions for topics to us by email at the address given at the end of the column. We thank you for the communications received to date, to which we reply directly. Starting with this issue, we will occasionally share with you an expanded response that was inspired by a noteworthy question.
Safe and effective cattle handling has always been important. In the last few years there has been a move toward what has been called low-stress handling or as we prefer to call it a return to sound, effective stockmanship. The animal industries must not tolerate any form of abusive behavior or handling of livestock. The culture of handling on any operation originates from upper management and is expressed by the workers on the ground.
Sustainability means different things to different people. “If we’re not sustainable in what we do, we’re out of business,” said Nebraska cattleman Bill Rishel. “Many of us in the cattle business grew up thinking of sustainability as making enough money to keep ranching the next year. Of course that meant we had to care for our natural resources and manage them in a responsible way.