If you have ever saw or used our product, you may have noticed that protein is not listed on our tag. Here's why: we are definitely still getting protein to your animal; it is just in a completely different way. Now, don’t be put off by that. We’re here to help and explain…
You see protein on the tag; it is one of the common ingredients in a lick tub. For example, if you have a tub with 30% protein, the tub itself is made up of 30% protein. This is a very traditional way to get protein to your animals, and has been effective for many years.
Here’s what we’ve found.
With traditionally fed protein straight from the tub, the cow is actually relatively limited. Because there is only so much protein in the tub, that is all the cow can glean from the product. Simply, that is all they have access to. This is known as direct-fed protein.
Over the years, we have discovered that by doing things a little bit differently, we have made our approach to protein supplementation fundamentally different. We’re enabling the cow to extract and utilize far more. More protein, more energy more nutrients, more of whatever is in your feed. This is known as Indirect Supplementation Technology. IST.
With something called Nutrizorb®, which is in every Riomax® formula, we have a powerhouse of ingredients that allow us to extract more nutrients from your existing resources and forages. It works like this: we don't just feed the cow, we feed the bugs that feed the cow. Nutrizorb stimulates and hyper-activates the rumen microbes so that there are more of them and they are more active. Whether the cow is on hay, summer pasture, winter grazing or being supplemented grain, Nutrizorb® helps really break down those forages and grains, and ultimately, extracts far more out of them. In this case, we’re talking protein. In the big picture, though, it's going to help with extraction of everything else too, including energy, nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are naturally-occurring in the forage or feed.
So why is it important?
It should be fair to assume that you want your cow herd to get the protein they need. And while it may seem strange to you that protein is not listed on our tag, it is really counter-intuitive. When protein is placed directly in a tub, there is no further potential. As we said before, the cow is limited to whatever is inside the tub. By using an indirect method, though, your cow is actually able to get far more protein than it would through a direct-fed method. All we’re doing is working to better utilize your existing forages, and allowing the cow to get more out of every mouthful, every bale, every acre, every day.
For those of you who learn visually…
Here is a simple diagram that puts all these words into something more tangible.
The large box represents everything the cow eats in a day: grass or hay or grain etc. The small square at the top represents just the supplement, whether it be salt, mineral, or protein tubs. That is only 2% of the cow’s entire diet! Now imagine a 30% protein tub. The cow is only getting 30% protein out of the 2% supplement (not a very large amount)!
Now it’s easier to understand how restricting a traditionally fed protein tub can be. This is why we believe that having protein in Riomax® is actually less important than providing the tools to enhance digestion, feed those good bugs, "feed the troops that win the war". With Indirect Supplementation Technology (IST), we are able to pull protein from everything else in the cow's diet. That is, the rest of the big square.