Weaning time can be stressful for your cow-calf enterprise. Cows are no longer responsible for caring for their offspring. Calves are separated from their mom and their life as they know it is changed. They are expected to transition from milk to grain- or forage-based diets and might not be eager to face life on their own.
BioZyme® Inc. knows that the stress your calves experience can also lead to stress for the producer. You want them to get to the feed bunk to start eating. You want them to find the water source to stay hydrated, since you know water intake is correlated to feed intake. That’s why we recommend the 3-3-1 approach to weaning. Here are three steps and three easy to use products that lead to one profitable result and help ensure weaning success at your operation.
Step 1: Transition Calves with Vita Charge® Cattle Drench
The transition of weaning brings several immediate changes. Calves are typically moved to a new environment with new herd groups. Their nutritional intake changes, and they no longer have the comfort of their mother. These stressors can compromise their immunity and, ultimately, their health.
Keeping calves healthy at weaning not only improves animal comfort and wellbeing, but it also benefits rate of gain and growth. Additionally, it can reduce the cost of medication and labor to treat sick calves. Help your calves transition easily by using Vita Charge Cattle Drench.
Vita Charge Cattle Drench is designed to support digestive health before, during and after challenges. It is formulated to help cattle recover quickly. Within the first 48 hours of weaning, while processing your calves, Drench will support:
- Feed and water intake
- Immune system
Fast-acting ingredients include AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility. Added enzymes work with Amaferm to generate a more rapid digestive response. In addition, mannan oligosaccharides, or MOS, helps normalize gut microflora and support the immune system. Like all Vita Charge products, the cattle drench does not interfere with antibiotics.
“Taking a proactive approach with your animal health is a great management tool. Keeping Amaferm in their diet every day helps keep their gut healthy, and we know a healthy gut leads to overall increased health and performance,” said Chris Cassady, Ph.D., BioZyme Senior Manager of Beef Technical Sales. “Getting fresh-weaned calves started with the Cattle Drench is a great way to get them to the bunk, get them eating and make sure they are gaining, since we know profitability comes from pounds.”
Administering is simple, and calves only require 1 to 2 fluid ounces. Cattle Drench comes in a 5-liter jug that can hang chute-side with a drench applicator attached. It also comes in a smaller 32-ounce bottle for smaller operations or for convenient use across larger operations.
Step 2: Start your Calves with a Vita Charge Stress Tub
During the first 7 to 21 days, be sure to introduce a Vita Charge Stress Tub to your calves. The Stress Tub supports digestive health and intake.
The Stress Tubs are a great way to ensure calves continue to get daily amounts of Amaferm in their diets to enhance digestibility. Additionally, the tubs contain MOS to help normalize gut microflora and support the immune system and a probiotic to help restore the gut microbiome.
“The Vita Charge Stress Tubs at weaning have helped get calves eating quicker and stay healthy throughout the entire process,” says Angus producer Jason Jagels, located in the Nebraska Sandhills.
Available in two sizes, both 50- and 200-pounds, the Stress Tubs are the most convenient way to deliver Amaferm to your calves for maximum digestion daily. If calves are also experiencing heat stress, thea Vita Charge Stress Tub HEAT® is a great option for all around support. Stress Tub HEAT supports digestive health and intake when temperatures are hotter than 70 degrees. The HEAT technology includes a combination, of essential oils, and garlic to support animals when heat and insects are a challenge.
“The HEAT technology works to keep those calves cool internally, helping drive their appetite and water intake,” Cassady said. “Think about it. When we are hot, we don’t feel like eating big meals. The same can be said with cattle, but with the combination of HEAT technology and Amaferm, cattle will get out in the middle of the day and eat smaller meals more frequently, helping maximize their gain.”
Step 3: Grow Your Calves Efficiently with Gain Smart® Mineral
Gain Smart® is a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for stocker cattle that promotes healthy, economical pounds by maximizing the energy and protein available in the diet. Once your calves have had time to settle into their routine, be sure to incorporate the Gain Smart formula that best fits your scenario into your operation.
In addition to a way to get Amaferm into your calves’ diet, Gain Smart minerals will help supplement nutrients that may be lacking in the diet. Rectifying mineral imbalances will help keep growth on track. Gain Smart is available in four formulas, all formulas offer the same core benefits when fed from 45 to 100 days. These include::
- Enhancing digestibility
- Providing organic copper, iodine and zinc for maximum bioavailability and hoof health.
- Providing nutritional support for a healthy immune system
Not only will you see more efficient gains and healthier calves in your operation, but Superior Livestock also recognizes calves that have been on the Gain Smart minerals for at least 45 days at their sales. Gain Smart and Vita Ferm were the first nutrition programs recognized by Superior as value-added programs, and producers continue to receive premiums for calves sold via these programs.
“Anytime you can save on treatment cost, increase gain and receive a premium, it is a winning combination. It just makes sense to feed the Gain Smart mineral,” Cassady said.
Four Mineral Choices
Because every operation is different, there are four options of the Gain Smart mineral. To determine which of the following is best for your calves, take the Gain Smart Product Quiz.
Gain Smart Stocker is a free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for stocker cattle designed to maximize efficient gain.
Gain Smart Stocker HEAT® is a free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for stocker cattle designed to maximize efficient gain when temperatures are above 70 degrees.
Gain Smart Wheat is a free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for stocker cattle designed to maximize efficient gain on wheat or small grain pasture.
Gain Smart Balancer RU is a vitamin and mineral supplement for stocker cattle with rumensin designed to maximize efficient gain and balance high grain diets when mixing TMR rations.
Healthy, Economical Pounds
Research shows that including Amaferm in the animal’s diet increases gain by up to one quarter of a pound per day. The faster gain equals more dollars in your pocket.
“We have a lot of fescue. I mean a lot; we grow it professionally. When we started using Gain Smart, we did a little trial. One pasture I fed the Gain Smart, and in another pasture, we just kept on with what I was originally using. When we pulled those cattle off, the cattle that were on the Gain Smart mineral were about 25-30 pounds heavier than the rest. They all went in at the same time. They all came out of the sale barn. They were the same cattle, just the Gain Smart did make them grow better,” said Michael Smiley, owner of T&M Cattle Co, in Virginia.
Take the stress out of weaning. Get your calves going in the right direction and start seeing results with the three products and three easy steps that lead to one profitable result with the 3-3-1 approach from BioZyme.
Want to learn more about these products or find a dealer near you? Visit www.gainsmart.com.