KIRK: Relating to cows and their lick tubsI totally get a cow’s obsession to stand over a lick tub and not be able to walk away from their tasty treat. I do the same with chocolate. If it’s there, so am I. When I know there’s chocolate around, especially of the dark variety, it’s hard to leave it alone.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
I totally get a cow’s obsession to stand over a lick tub and not be able to walk away from their tasty treat. I do the same with chocolate. If it’s there, so am I.
When I know there’s chocolate around, especially of the dark variety, it’s hard to leave it alone.
Something will trigger a reminder that there’s chocolate in the house; usually a craving but sometimes it’s remembering that there’s some I didn’t finish off last time.
There are a lot of different lick tub varieties and brands such as Crystalix, Loomix, or MLS to pick from the same way there are several different kinds of chocolate. Our cows prefer Vitalix because of the product’s slogan: “Guaranteed Consumption.”
No kidding! You set out a tub with a hefty price tag and it’s guaranteed cows will have them licked up quickly.
Tubs are set out where cows will find them. Likewise, I always know where I put the chocolate in my house unless I can’t remember the last place where I hid it from my family.
Whether it’s lick tubs or chocolate, the problem is that there are always others around who want to get in on the treat savoring. When my family catches me sneaking chocolate they think they need some. When out checking on our herd there’s always at least one cow licking away on a tub but usually there’s more than one vying for a turn at the tub.
Supplemental tubs are designed to add weight, improve a cow’s overall health and decrease sickness during the winter months, which is exactly what chocolate does every winter when the chocolate comes out.
It boosts my mental health during those cold, short sunlit winter days, yet adds weight at the same time.
The sticky brown molasses is what cows are after in lick tubs.
They simultaneously get vitamins and minerals that are mixed in with the cooked molasses and poured into a tub — kind of like a heavy, dense chocolate cake, only about 200 pounds heavier and not as chocolaty tasting. Lick tubs are a popular protein supplement during the winter months. Chocolate provides me with protein, too, when I scoop it in the peanut butter jar.
My favorite varieties are premium dark or milk chocolate but I’m not particular; I’ll eat any of those with almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts. I can’t go wrong with 70 percent cocoa premium dark chocolate though, because my family doesn’t like eating something that tastes to them like chocolate-flavored chalk.
I’m not a big candy bar eater because most are too sugary sweet, but I have been known to break down and buy one, eat half of it, and save the rest for later. Caramel or peanut butter Twix or Snicker’s Almond will do in a binge, which normally only happens when I’m away from home and my chocolate satisfaction is dangerously low.
There may be an ongoing controversy over whether lick tubs are a waste of money or really do make a difference in cows but for me it’s never been an issue regarding chocolate. Eating chocolate validates that I am most certainly a woman and it satisfies my need to eat something chocolate-flavored.
At least with chocolate, once it’s gone there aren’t any nonreturnable tubs to figure out what to do with.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com