Spring will be here before you know it. It might not feel or look like it, depending on your part of the country, but spring is coming. The recent heavy snows and rains in much of the country in late February, followed by a warmup, is a combination that is sure to bring on some nice, lush grass once the mud dries out.
Spring means grazing. Although turning out on grass is an efficient means of gain, it isn’t always a stress-free option. Several stressors do exist when grazing calves through the spring and summer months. However, with proper management and good nutrition protocols, those gains can be both low-cost and stress-free.
John Jeffrey, BioZyme® Inc. Senior Manager of Strategic Accounts, said the first stressor that cattle producers need to consider when grazing cattle is the history of the calves they intend to graze. Are the calves local with minimal transportation stress? Or have they been on a semi for several hours across several states? Have the calves been processed before they reached your property, or do you need to process them upon arrival?
“Regardless of their history, you can get them going in the right direction with the Vita Charge® program prior to turning them out on grass. If they are local cattle or cattle that were hauled a distance with little known information, by giving those calves a dose of Vita Charge® Drench and making sure they have Vita Charge Stress Tubs at turn out, you are giving their digestive system the jump start it needs. You’ll see your calves take to grass and water faster and start gaining faster,” Jeffrey said.
The Vita Charge Cattle Drench supports digestive health and promotes feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery. It is conveniently designed for processing large groups of cattle. The Drench contains the precision-based prebiotic Amaferm®, organic trace minerals and essential vitamins to stimulate the immune system and to ensure that feed intake stays consistent. Added enzymes work with Amaferm to generate a more rapid digestive response. Amaferm impacts intake, feed digestibility and nutrient absorption to help combat stress. It is research-proven to support the animal’s own immune system, decreasing the cost of treatment and overall death loss.
In addition to the Vita Charge Cattle Drench, Jeffrey recommends putting out Vita Charge Stress Tubs for the first two weeks that calves are on grass. The Stress Tubs are a convenient way for livestock to get their daily dose of Vita Charge. In addition to the Amaferm that is research-proven to increase intake, digestibility and absorption, the cooked tub also contains a heat tolerant probiotic and MOS to support the ability to recover from the effects of stress.
Potential stressors do exist. Lush grass and wheat pastures can lead to grass tetany. Fly and insect populations increase as the temperatures rise. And the summer heat is enough to stress any human or animal. Taking a proactive approach to your cattle’s health and nutrition is always the best way to mitigate stress, according to Jeffrey. He offers a solution.
“Would you feed a product that could help you make an additional $30,000 while helping your cattle with their overall gut health and immunity? Is it worth it,” he asked.
Once the calves have been processed, including the dose of Vita Charge Cattle Drench and have had access to the Vita Charge Stress Tubs, don’t let their nutritional needs go by the wayside. Be sure to continue to supplement them with the nutrients they need to maximize the forages they are grazing. Gain Smart® has a mineral that fits the need and will help mitigate common springtime stressors.
Gain Smart is free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement designed to balance basic nutrient needs and contains Amaferm, research-proven to promote calf health and vigor and stimulate digestion and nutrient absorption of forage for optimum gain. A variety of Gain Smart formulas exist, depending on your grazing or feeding scenario. You can learn more about the formulas and determine which one is best for your operation at https://gainsmart.com/product-categories/gain-smart-products.
So, how do these products mitigate stress while adding profit to your bottom line? First, Jeffrey points out that many stressors, such as grass tetany and other challenges brought on by grazing are caused by nutrient deficiencies. Grass tetany is a magnesium deficiency, so by feeding a Gain Smart mineral that already has magnesium in it, you are taking a proactive approach to the challenge. By maintaining a good mineral program from the start, and keeping magnesium in your cattle’s diet year-round, you should help ease the chance of grass tetany.
Although flies and other insects will always exist, they will be less likely to land on your cattle eating the HEAT mineral, due in part to the garlic. And, the HEAT package has been shown to keep the cattle out grazing during the heat of the day, not shaded up or standing in ponds to keep cool.
If your cattle are healthy and not fighting stressors, they are going to be grazing. They are going to be gaining. BioZyme Inc. research shows that animals that have Amaferm in their diets gain an added .25 to .30 pounds per day. Let’s be optimistic and assume your 1,000 head of calves gain an extra .30 pound per day during their 100-day grazing period since you put them on the Gain Smart Program.
.30#/day x 100 days = 30 extra pounds
30 pounds x $1/pound = $30 extra dollars
$30 x 1,000 head = $30,000 extra dollars to take to the bank
“Amaferm is simply going to help you make more money. Your calves will start grazing faster, gain faster and stay healthier. You should see a reduction in morbidity, a reduction in mortality and an increase in your bottom line,” Jeffrey said.
There’s always going to be stress in the cattle business, but isn’t it nice to know that some of that stress can be relieved with the simple management tool of good nutrition? Keep them on your program with our program and see the results you are looking for while adding some dollars to your bottom line. Discover AO-Biotics® Amaferm® and experience less stress in 2021.