January 2015
Farm & Field

Cattle Theft on the Rise

Make sure you aren’t helping them rob you!

With record cattle prices comes record temptation. It is no surprise that cattle theft is on the rise this year. Unfortunately, in many cases, by the time producers realize the cattle are gone, they have already been sold at auction. These losses can be devastating. So what can you do as a producer to theft-proof your livestock?

We need to rethink the idea of training cattle to come running up every time we drive a pickup into the pasture. When you feed off the back of your truck, that’s exactly what you are doing. Unfortunately, the bad guys know this, too, and pull up, beep the horn and the cattle practically load themselves.

SWEETLIX EnProAl self-fed supplements can help in this regard. The fact that cattle get 24/7 access to supplement means they won’t be hungry and running up to the truck like they will with daily or weekly feeding of supplements like cubes or pellets. Just keep the recommended number of tubs out at all times for continuous supplementation. We even have a program to help remind you of when to replace barrels. You can sign up for the SWEETLIXSupplement Scheduler at www.sweetlix.com. This convenient program allows you to enter specific information for each pasture. The program tracks consumption by pasture and will automatically send you email reminders when you need to replace the supplement. Wa-lah! No more hungry cattle running up to greet you!

You can also use our new free Livestock Intake Calculator for Supplements app for both Apple and Android smartphones. This easy-to-use app will calculate the average daily intake for your supplements and your cost per head per day, as well as the replacement dates for supplements. There are a lot of options available to help you keep supplements in front of your livestock.

Additionally, the highly palatable nature of SWEETLIX EnProAl supplements helps draw grazing cattle to stay near the tubs. You can strategically place SWEETLIX EnProAl supplementsin areas of the pasture that are out of sight from the road or farther away from the gate and any loading chutes. Thieves are looking for an easy mark, so making your cattle less accessible will make them less attractive as targets.

Other steps you can take to protect yourself include padlocks on gates and proper identification on every animal, whether this includes branding, ear tattoos, ear tags or all of the above. Keep records on all animals and their various forms of identification. For small herds, you might even take the extra step of photographing each animal for later identification. Of course, frequently check cattle and try not to make your visits predictable. And finally, you need to make sure your livestock are adequately insured. Talk with your insurance agent to make sure your policy covers replacement costs for the current value of your animals.

In summary, high cattle prices bring out the bad guys looking to make a quick buck off your hard work. Make sure you aren’t making it easy for them. SWEETLIXnot only can help you provide the best nutrition for your cattle but can also help you keep them safe from theft! Contact your local Quality Co-op location and ask for SWEETLIX today!

SWEETLIX and EnProAl are a registered trademark of Ridley Block Operations

Jackie Nix is an animal nutritionist with Ridley Block Operations (www.sweetlix.com). You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-325-1486 for questions or to learn more about SWEETLIX mineral and protein supplements for cattle, goats, horses, sheep and wildlife. References available upon request.