5 Tips for Beef Cow Herd Winter Supplementation

Now that fall is here and the first blast of winter weather is quickly approaching, have you thought about what that means to your cow herd? Keeping cattle in good condition through the fall and into early winter ultimately helps insulate the animal and minimize the amount of feed required later in the winter season.

Winter cowsKevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition and Technical Sales at BioZyme® Inc., says now is the time to take an honest evaluation of body condition and match your feeding program to the needs of your cows. St. Joseph, MO-based BioZyme manufactures vitamin and mineral supplements for a variety of livestock.

“The bottom line is, early cold stress can result in a snowball effect if left unchecked. Cold temperatures significantly raise energy requirements. Undeveloped winter hair coats, wet hides and wind all combine to magnify this increase in energy requirements,” said Glaubius. “The combination of calving cows and colder environmental conditions can easily result in producers not providing enough feed energy and cows losing weight.”

So what can producers do to manage the cold stress and feed adequately during the winter months? Glaubius offers some tips:

1) Feed higher quality hay (with more energy) and expect cows to increase intake. Without a forage analysis, you cannot be exactly sure of your hay’s energy level, which can lead to inadequate nutrition.  BioZyme offers complimentary hay testing and nutrition analysis to producers through its nationwide dealer network and Area Sales Managers. For more information, visit http://vitaferm.com/testyourhay/.

2) Feed cattle a supplement that contains BioZyme’s Amaferm® to improve digestibility of feed and helps ensure that they are extracting all of the energy possible. Research shows that feeding a supplement that contains Amaferm has similar benefits to feeding at least 1lb. of grain.

3) Consider moving cows to locations with protection from the wind and wet weather. The energy requirement of beef cattle increases about 3% for each degree that the wind chill is below 59 degrees F.  This increases even further in wet conditions and prior to fully developing a winter hair coat.

4) Match animal nutrition requirements to the quality of your forage. Heifers and thin cows require a more energy-dense diet, compared to older or fleshy cows. Sorting animals into groups based on body condition allows you to feed the available forage more effectively. Start by targeting your higher quality, more immature forages toward heifers and thin cows. These earlier harvested forages will be the most energy dense as energy declines considerably with maturity. The older and higher body condition cows can then be fed slightly more mature forage. This allows you to maximize the use of your forage supply while better targeting the nutritional needs of your entire herd.

5) A good guideline is to feed 3-6 lbs. of energy supplements like soyhulls, corn gluten feed, or corn to avoid weight loss during these stressful periods.

A strong nutrition program is key to maximizing the performance of your cow herd. For more information about winter supplementation, contact Kevin Glaubius at 816-344-5762 or kglaubius@biozymeinc.com.

BioZyme Introduces AO-Biotics™ All-Natural Feed Additive for Monogastrics

BioZyme® Inc., leaders in animal nutrition and microbiology, recently introduced the natural feed additive AO-Biotics™ through its new swiao-bioticsne and poultry supplement brand Imunabiotics™.

Created from a proprietary strain of Aspergillus oryzae through a unique, multistep fermentation process, AO-Biotics (acting as a prebiotic) has been research-proven to support gut health and performance in weaning piglets and sows.

“We know through research that a swine’s gut represents much more than just digestion. Up to 70 percent of all the cells that make up the swine immune system are housed in its gut,” said Bill Bayless, Director of Commercial Sales at BioZyme. “The gut is the largest immune regulator and endocrine organ in the animal, making its health and proper functioning valuable to the animal’s viability and performance.

“At BioZyme, gut health is defined as the ability to sustain or rapidly restore the optimal balance between the absorptive and protective roles of the gut in order to best support animal performance and health,” said Bayless. “We measure the impact of our products by assessing four defined pillars of gut health: intestinal barrier function, immune-inflammatory response, digestion and absorptive capacity and balanced gut microbiota. AO-Biotics excels in all categories.”

In a recent study conducted by Dr. Ignacio R. Ipharraguerre, Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at University of Kiel in Germany, early-weaned piglets fed AO-Biotics exhibited the following results compared to the control group:

  • Increased growth homogeneity (1st week postweaning)
  • Increased average daily gain
  • Reduced gut leakiness
  • Reduced diarrhea (1st week postweaning)
  • Increased absorptive capacity of the gut
  • Increased water intake

“With AO-Biotics, piglets are set up for better health, making them more resilient, thus reducing variability in the group,” said Bayless.

A research trial conducted by Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, found that sows fed AO-Biotics exhibited improved performance through:

  • More late lactation
  • Greater number of piglets weaned
  • Higher feed intake in week 2 and 3 of lactation
  • More total pounds weaned

“Sows fed AO-Biotics and control females, which were not fed AO-Biotics, were allowed to nurse the same number of piglets, however, by day seven, AO-Biotics females tended to have larger litter sizes to nurse,” said Bayless regarding the trial results. “At day 14 and at weaning, the difference in piglets per litter in terms of average daily gain and final weight statistically favored the sows fed AO-Biotics.”

Feed intake was also statistically different in late lactation, favoring increased intake for females receiving AO-Biotics, according to the study results. Over the entire lactation period, feed intake was numerically greater when sows were supplemented with AO-Biotics.

Anatomy of Swine Gut Health

Piglets at Weaning – Weaning imposes tremendous stress on piglets and is accompanied by marked changes in gastrointestinal physiology, microbiology and immunology. The post-weaning decrease in absorptive capacity in weaned pigs, coupled with immature digestion, often lead to nutrient indigestion and intestinal upsets causing diarrhea, depression of growth and even death.

Sows – One way to assist piglet health is by keeping the sow’s digestive system healthy. Maintaining a healthy GI tract with stable microbiota is key to sufficient feed intake and colostrum production. Sows with a healthy gut are more likely to produce larger litters.

For more information about AO-Biotics  and swine gut health, visit www.imunabiotics.com or contact Bill Bayless at 618-708-8788 or bbayless@biozymeinc.com.

BioZyme Expanding International Market into China’s Swine Industry

A delegation of Chinese officials from China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ), operating directly under The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), will visit and tour BioZyme® Inc.’s state-of-the art fermentation facility on Tuesday, Oct. 18. CIQ officials work closely with laboratories, local offices and other entities to secure the quality of products imported to China.

BioZyme, innovators in all-natural animal nutrition and microbiology, began exporting to China in 2005, with a significant commitment to developing the relationship through a marketing and sales representative on the ground in China, Dr. Ming He. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a PhD in Dairy Science, Dr. He advises large dairies in China on how to improve ration utilization. BioZyme is looking to expand its international market into China’s significant swine industry.

“China is home to half of the world’s swine population. We are already seeing momentum in our China dairy business. Plans are under way to begin feeding trials in China with our all-natural feed additive, Amaferm®, to develop a research-based approach targeted at improving sow digestion for more total pounds weaned per litter,” said Elishia Carrillo, International Marketing Director at BioZyme.

In addition to the CIQ officials, St. Joseph, MO Mayor Bill Falkner and representatives from the Missouri Department of Agriculture will be in attendance, as well as local and international representatives from BioZyme.

BioZyme President Robert R. Norton says he is honored to have such a distinguished group of attendees at the meeting to convey just how important Chinese business is to BioZyme.

“The Chinese market diversification represents an important milestone for BioZyme International’s future growth,” said Norton. “Our partnership with top-tier Chinese institutions provides the three factors we believe are critical to solidifying our market leadership: access to trusted distributor partners, access to technical sales and access to key customers. As demand for tools to help increase modern livestock production in China continues to grow, our partners will be instrumental in helping us ramp up growth. We look forward to capitalizing on the significant opportunities in front of us.”

BioZyme Makes Top 10 List of Animal Health Companies in Kansas City Animal Health Corridor

BioZyme Inc., leaders in all-natural animal nutrition and microbiology, was recently named one of the “Top Area Animal Health Companies in the Animal Health Corridor” by the Kansas City Business Journal. BioZyme ranked ninth out of 23 companies listed.

The companies were ranked based on their number of full-time equivalent employees. The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, which includes St. Joseph, MO; Manhattan, KS and Columbia, MO, is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the largest concentration in the world.

Information for the list was supplied by individual companies through questionnaires provided by the Kansas City Business Journal. BioZyme also ranked fourth on a sub-list ranking the companies based on year founded.

BioZyme, founded in 1951, has over 100 full-time employees, with 100% of its business tied to animal health and nutrition. BioZyme offers a complete line of high density, highly available vitamin, mineral, trace mineral and protein supplements for a variety of animals including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, horses and dogs. BioZyme brands include Amaferm®, Amasile™, VitaFerm®, Vita Charge®, Sure Champ®, Vitalize®, LiquiFerm™, Digest More™, DuraFerm™, Imunabiotics™ and Peets Feed.

Lisa Norton, Vice-President of BioZyme, attributed the company’s ranking to its recent sales growth and facility expansion, created by its dedicated, hard-working and qualified staff.

“Over the last three years, we have added 46 new employees and grown by 40%,” said Norton. “We also launched three new product lines and more than 15 new products, plus added a state-of-the art fermentation facility, expanded our blending plant, added 40,000 square feet of warehousing and expanded our Winding River Research Farm. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the support of our dedicated team of employees.”