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#5723087 - 04/30/15 05:35 AM "magic" feed - opinions
tlk Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1983
Many of you know of the recent promotion of a protein feed with claims it will add 30-40 inches to your deer in a year. I am not saying it is possible or not but it is being heavily promoted and sold and is significantly more costly than most other feeds - my question is how can it really be measured as to its success? Unless a ranch has pictures of most of its bucks to compare horn growth from year to year how can it be determined if it really is that superior to other feeds?

There are also so many other factors that affect horn growth - rainfall, water availability, etc. I guess one way to measure it would be in a controlled, high fenced, pen setting where one feed was provided to captured bucks and a different feed provided to other bucks in a different pen and then see what the results are.

If you compare the actual ingredients in this feed to others there does not appear to be much difference - it is higher in some areas but lower in others. In addition, I believe it contains peanuts/cottonseed which must be tested for toxins that can cause herd issues.

I am always skeptical of anything that is the latest and greatest miracle - but this may be the real deal - I am still on the fence.

What are the thoughts?


Edited by tlk (04/30/15 05:36 AM)
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#5723153 - 04/30/15 06:56 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9275
Loc: Bandera, Tx
Kind of one of those if sounds too good to be true it probably isn't. You could say the same about any protein feed and how would you prove or disprove the claim.
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#5723246 - 04/30/15 07:49 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
Elkhunter49 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 3249
Loc: Oak Harbor, Slidell La
Originally Posted By: tlk
Many of you know of the recent promotion of a protein feed with claims it will add 30-40 inches to your deer in a year. I am not saying it is possible or not but it is being heavily promoted and sold and is significantly more costly than most other feeds - [b][b]my question is how can it really be measured as to its success? Unless a ranch has pictures of most of its bucks to compare horn growth from year to year [/b]how can it be determined if it really is that superior to other feeds?

There are also so many other factors that affect horn growth - rainfall, water availability, etc. I guess one way to measure it would be in a controlled, high fenced, pen setting where one feed was provided to captured bucks and a different feed provided to other bucks in a different pen and then see what the results are.

If you compare the actual ingredients in this feed to others there does not appear to be much difference - it is higher in some areas but lower in others. In addition, I believe it contains peanuts/cottonseed which must be tested for toxins that can cause herd issues.

I am always skeptical of anything that is the latest and greatest miracle - but this may be the real deal - I am still on the fence.

What are the thoughts?



They do have multiple years of photos of the same bucks. I know this because I took many of them. They also allow most deer to reach maturity. I'm not talking about 4.5 to 5.5 years old but 8.9 or 10 years old before they are harvested or simply die of old age. I'm not in the feed business and I don't care what anyone feeds their deer but I can tell you the before and after photos you see posted of the deer are the real thing!
[/b]
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#5723255 - 04/30/15 07:56 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
colt.45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 9307
Loc: wondering about the woods
3rd try... Key word claims .. A lot depends on health of deer coming out of rut & winter age, & genes. Some like levis, i prefure wranglers... We had mild winter & plenty of rain... once deer hit peak weight rest of protien goes ta antler growth & weight gain for fawns... Whats the price on the magic feed ? flag
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#5723258 - 04/30/15 07:58 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Not all feeds are created equal. You can not base success on one years growth to the next since no two deer are the same age two years in a row. You can relive a year. Testing two separate pens or pastures of deer is not going to work either. Just not going to get a true test with whitetail deer. There are no miracle feeds that have genetics on the label.
No two ranches will have the same genetics or the same habitat. Soil and plant communities change from ranch to ranch no matter what size the ranch is. Rainfall and time of rainfall is critical. Amount of forb growth is critical also.
What can help is to take browse samples from your ranch to see what your browse is lacking in. Browse diversity can vary greatly from ranch to ranch. One ranch might have many class 1 and 2 browse plants and the next one only a few. I was on a ranch yesterday helping with a browse survey. The ranch did not have the variety of class 1 and 2 plants you would expect for South Texas. Some were in large quantities and others in very low amounts. The terrain varied from river bottom to gravely soils. The cover and canopy went from dense to somewhat open. Samples were taken to see what was lacking in those plants that could be added into their feed for that ranch.
A whitetail hardened antler is 44% protein, 22% calcium and 11% phosphorous. Those numbers have to come from somewhere- soil, browse, forbes, water, their body or a supplement. Ratios and sources of these minerals is very critical.
Feed labels may appear to be the same but that is not always true. Sources of proteins can vary greatly. Some feeds only use a couple of protein sources while other use 10 or more. Some protein sources are easier to digest and others not so easy. If your feed has the later then what benefit is that feed to your deer? Mineral/trace minerals sources should match the needs of your ranch. The ratio and types of the minerals/trace minerals is even more important to your ranch.
Rumen health is very important also. If you are driving your vehicle then you are putting constant pressure on the fuel pedal, if you let up the vehicle slows or stops when you apply the brake. The rumen on a deer is the same way when he is eating he is putting nutrients into his digestive system. If his rumen is not healthy due to something he ate, then he is not eating. If he is not eating then he is not feeding his body and antlers. The large and small intestines are where those nutrients are absorbed into the bucks system and to his antlers. If not, then those nutrients flow out the rear end. When you have an upset stomach do you eat as much?
Also many are now going to more feed stations and more feeders per station. They are wanting 6-8 deer per feeder and up to 3 feeders per station depending on amount of deer. Shade or closeness of the station to shade is also now be shown to be important. Water or how close the station is to water is very important. A recent study was done with bucks to see how important feed, water and shade were to each other as far as utilization of all. The study area that the deer had to walk a distance from shade, to feed then a distance to water had the lowest intake of water and protein consumption. The highest was with feed and water both in the shade. There was a 21% and 29% less of water/feed consumed when the animal had to leave shade to eat or drink. Bottom line is they ate and drank less when it was out of their comfort zone.
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#5723305 - 04/30/15 08:19 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
What we try to do for a deer herd is to have the best density, age structure, habitat, water availability, protein supplement, food plot system and/or mineral supplement we can afford to offer them. The deer herd then has to do what they can with those that are available. We are trying get them to show us their genetic potential every year. Every bite they take should be a step in that direction.
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#5723356 - 04/30/15 08:47 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: Elkhunter49]
tlk Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1983
Originally Posted By: Elkhunter49
Originally Posted By: tlk
Many of you know of the recent promotion of a protein feed with claims it will add 30-40 inches to your deer in a year. I am not saying it is possible or not but it is being heavily promoted and sold and is significantly more costly than most other feeds - [b][b]my question is how can it really be measured as to its success? Unless a ranch has pictures of most of its bucks to compare horn growth from year to year [/b]how can it be determined if it really is that superior to other feeds?

There are also so many other factors that affect horn growth - rainfall, water availability, etc. I guess one way to measure it would be in a controlled, high fenced, pen setting where one feed was provided to captured bucks and a different feed provided to other bucks in a different pen and then see what the results are.

If you compare the actual ingredients in this feed to others there does not appear to be much difference - it is higher in some areas but lower in others. In addition, I believe it contains peanuts/cottonseed which must be tested for toxins that can cause herd issues.

I am always skeptical of anything that is the latest and greatest miracle - but this may be the real deal - I am still on the fence.

What are the thoughts?



They do have multiple years of photos of the same bucks. I know this because I took many of them. They also allow most deer to reach maturity. I'm not talking about 4.5 to 5.5 years old but 8.9 or 10 years old before they are harvested or simply die of old age. I'm not in the feed business and I don't care what anyone feeds their deer but I can tell you the before and after photos you see posted of the deer are the real thing!
[/b]


I do not doubt the quality of the deer - but it is my understanding this feed was only started after the end of the previous season so the deer essentially only had a few months on it before horn growth began. Can a feed be responsible for 30-40 inches of horn growth in that short a time frame? Again - don't know the answer - just curious
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#5723368 - 04/30/15 08:57 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41095
Loc: Metroplex
No way can it contribute that much first year.



Unless you where on year five of a fiver drought and that's all they had to eat. In that case they didn't grow that much, they just caught up.

Most new feed programs benefit the babies the most, because they grow up with it, there for hit it more.

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#5723369 - 04/30/15 08:58 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
Elkhunter49 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 3249
Loc: Oak Harbor, Slidell La
All I can tell is the body weights and added inches on the racks last year were incredible. The deer were as heavy as I've ever seen. If any deer has that much fat stored in their body I've got to believe they are going to grow their racks to their max potential no matter where they are.
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#5723373 - 04/30/15 09:02 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: Elkhunter49]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41095
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: Elkhunter49
All I can tell is the body weights and added inches on the racks last year were incredible. The deer were as heavy as I've ever seen. If any deer has that much fat stored in their body I've got to believe they are going to grow their racks to their max potential no matter where they are.


What was the rain fall last year compared to last four

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#5723377 - 04/30/15 09:04 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: tlk]
SniperRAB Online   content
GRAMPS!!!

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 21089
Loc: Nurturing Biosphere Mothership
Wet Spring

Good Horn...
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#5723379 - 04/30/15 09:04 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: BOBO the Clown]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Elkhunter49
All I can tell is the body weights and added inches on the racks last year were incredible. The deer were as heavy as I've ever seen. If any deer has that much fat stored in their body I've got to believe they are going to grow their racks to their max potential no matter where they are.


What was the rain fall last year compared to last four

What was the grazing pressure from livestock like? Did they do any prescribed burns? What was the water situation like? Did they add more feeders?
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#5723404 - 04/30/15 09:17 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: stxranchman]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41095
Loc: Metroplex
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Elkhunter49
All I can tell is the body weights and added inches on the racks last year were incredible. The deer were as heavy as I've ever seen. If any deer has that much fat stored in their body I've got to believe they are going to grow their racks to their max potential no matter where they are.


What was the rain fall last year compared to last four

What was the grazing pressure from livestock like? Did they do any prescribed burns? What was the water situation like? Did they add more feeders?


Very true!!!

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#5723417 - 04/30/15 09:22 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: stxranchman]
Elkhunter49 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 06/21/11
Posts: 3249
Loc: Oak Harbor, Slidell La
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Elkhunter49
All I can tell is the body weights and added inches on the racks last year were incredible. The deer were as heavy as I've ever seen. If any deer has that much fat stored in their body I've got to believe they are going to grow their racks to their max potential no matter where they are.


What was the rain fall last year compared to last four

What was the grazing pressure from livestock like? Did they do any prescribed burns? What was the water situation like? Did they add more feeders?


Rain fall was below what is determined to be average year. Total for the year was 9". No changes in livestock and no prescribed burns allowed because of oil field production. Water situation is normal for the ranch. Plenty of water available. Feed was started in January 2013.


Edited by Elkhunter49 (04/30/15 09:25 AM)
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#5723418 - 04/30/15 09:25 AM Re: "magic" feed - opinions [Re: Elkhunter49]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: Elkhunter49
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
Originally Posted By: Elkhunter49
All I can tell is the body weights and added inches on the racks last year were incredible. The deer were as heavy as I've ever seen. If any deer has that much fat stored in their body I've got to believe they are going to grow their racks to their max potential no matter where they are.


What was the rain fall last year compared to last four

What was the grazing pressure from livestock like? Did they do any prescribed burns? What was the water situation like? Did they add more feeders?


Rain fall was below what is determined to be average year. No changes in livestock and no prescribed burns allowed because of oil field production. Water situation is normal for the ranch. Plenty of water available.

When rainfall fell is more critical than the amount. It could have rained 20" all year and it all fell from Jan till May. That will make a huge difference.
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