North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
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Cobalt Bullets for Cattle

Much has been said to recommend cobalt bullets for cattle in North Dakota. In spite of the fact that no cobalt deficiency has been reported in this area, there was need for experimental proof that a small cylinder of cobalt in an animal's paunch would or would not make a difference in its feed-lot performance. Twelve of 30 yearling heifers were given a cobalt bullet when they were placed on feed. One of the 12 was removed from the experiment because of a digestive disturbance. As treatment was across lot lines, only gain data were secured. Before and after weights, with rate of gain were as follows:

  Cobalt Bullet Control
No. Heifers 11 18
Initial Wt. 566 568
Final Wt. 872 876
Av. Daily Gain 1.76 1.79

One-half of the steers in each of two lots were also given a cobalt bullet at the beginning of a pasture trial. After 73 days on grass, all steers were placed on full feed in dry lot. The results of this trial were as follows:

  Cobalt Bullet Control
No. Steers 6 6
Initial Wt. 477 478
Wt. off Grass 660 652
Av. Daily Gain 2.51 2.39
Final Wt. 937 941
Av. Daily Dry-Lot Gain 1.80 1.88


Cobalt bullets did not produce additional gain in yearlings in either of the two trials reported here.

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