Raising healthy, productive feedlot cattle is a challenge for any producer and having to do so with cattle that are not healthy when they were purchased can be an overwhelming endeavor. Such is the challenge facing the managers of a Texas Panhandle Grow Yard. The operators purchased “high risk” cattle at a discounted rate with the idea they could transform the health of the herd and make additional profits.
Hypothesis: One of the most important elements in raising a healthy feedlot is clean water. Providing clean water for cattle will contribute to optimal health and greater return on the investment made when purchasing them.
To test this hypothesis, a 110 day study was conducted with water treated by the Silver Bullet Water Treatment system. The study examined the health, overall weight gain and production of the livestock on this grow yard when water treated with the Silver Bullet was consumed by the cattle.
The study included 469 heifer head of cattle who were at risk for high mortality and morbidity. After being purchased from the same point of origin and transported to the grow yard, the heifers were randomly sorted off trucks, and alternately put into two groups in different holding pens.
The heifers in both groups received the same processing procedures throughout the trial: vaccinations, feed rations, growth
environments and number of days on feed were identical. The only variable between the two groups was the water they received. The control group received unrestricted access to untreated water, the other group received unrestricted access to water treated by the Silver Bullet Water Treatment system.
The outcome of the study reflected an increase in overall weight of the cattle, increased overall consumption, and an increase in total price per head of $20.82 for the cattle drinking water treated by Silver Bullet. The cost per head of cattle to drink water treated by Silver Bullet was $0.0046 cents.
The study demonstrated that treating the water with Silver Bullet so that bacteria is controlled and the water source for the cattle is scale free, increased the value of the herd. The herd drinking water treated by Silver Bullet consumed more feed and gained more weight than the control group, with an increased average gain of 19 pounds. The overall increase in the price received for the cattle in the Silver Bullet group was more than $20 per head, equaling a total of $9,000 more for the entire group. It can be assumed that the cattle benefited from healthy, clean water with low bacteria counts and that it contributed to an increase in the production and value of the herd.
A Texas Panhandle Yard has completed a second study to compare cattle provided with water treated by Silver Bullet to cattle provided with untreated water. The study lasted 110 days from August 2014 to December 2014.
The calves in the study were at high risk for mortality and were randomly sorted into two groups. The control group drank untreated water, and the other group drank water treated by Silver Bullet. Both groups received the exact same processing procedures throughout the study: vaccinations, feed rations, growth environments, and number of days on feed were identical. The only variable between the two groups was the water they received.
The study included 310 calves randomly split into two groups of 155. The results of the 110 day study showed significant differences between the two groups, with the group drinking water treated by Silver Bullet having greater daily weight gains, fewer deaths, and nearly $100 more profit per head.
The average daily weight gain by the control group was 1.353 lbs/day. The Silver Bullet group gained an average of 1.775 lbs/day. This 0.442 pound difference per day is equivalent to a 46.42 lb total difference between cattle in the two groups.
The control group experienced a death rate over twice as much as the Silver Bullet group during the study. The feedlot was losing $89.01 per head from cattle drinking untreated water. This can be attributed to the poor feed conversion rates, high cost of gain, and high cost of medicine per pound of gain for these cattle. The feedlot earned $9.73 per head from the cattle drinking Silver Bullet treated water. This is significant as the feedlot lost $13,796.55 from the control group and earned $1,508.15 from the Silver Bullet Group. This is a $15,304.70 difference realized in 110 days.
The study demonstrated that treating the water with Silver Bullet so that bacteria is controlled and the water source for the cattle is scale free, increased the value of the heard. The Silver Bullet group consumed more feed and gained more weight than the control group. Not only did the Silver Bullet group of cattle eat more and gain more, they were more efficient in converting feed into weight gain. It can be assumed that the cattle benefited significantly from consuming clean, healthy water and led to an increase in production and value.