Test Forages to Ensure Proper Supplementation

Some livestock producers will tell you they are forage producers and they simply raise cattle to have animals to consume the forage they produce. But it doesn’t matter if you raise hay for your cattle or cattle to eat hay, the most important thing to know is the nutrient content of the harvested forage you have on-hand before fall sets in and turns to winter.

Typically, by late August all the hay is put up, has had time for the moisture to level out, and it is an ideal time to start testing hay for nutritional content. Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition for BioZyme® Inc., offers some key advice to identifying the forages you have on-hand and getting them tested.

First, Glaubius said it’s important to identify your hay by a lot number so you know which test results are from which lot. Glaubius said a lot is defined by the field and the cutting it is from. For instance, a lot from the second cutting from field one would be named Lot 1-2. A first-cutting sample from the third field would be 3-1. It is important to identify the lots when you haul them from the field and store them and continue to know where they are kept. A year of drought like this year, might result in only one cutting, therefore all lots would be dash one, or you could just name the lots by field name or number.

Once the lots are identified, it is time to collect samples. Hay testing and ration balancing are complimentary services provided by BioZyme. Contact your Area Sales Manager or local BioZyme dealer for assistance in collecting the sample. Having an accurate sample is the key to a successful sample. Glaubius recommends taking 10 sub-samples from each lot and mixing them together to get one sample to submit.

“Where it is a real struggle for the nutritionist to work with the producer is when the producer doesn’t keep those lots separate. They bring all their hay from all fields and all cuttings and they are not identified,” Glaubius said. “This makes it really hard when they do that to help them to put them put together an efficient program and tell them to feed this hay first, this hay second, this hay third. If they can put them in rows so they are accessible to feed them from a nutrition standpoint, and not so they are just accessible with their loader, it helps. Some customers will spray paint a lot number on their bales to make their mix the most efficient.”

Once the Area Sales Manager or dealer submits the forage for testing, the results are typically generated within a week, indicating any deficiencies in energy or protein. In addition to knowing the nutrient content of your forages, it is also important to know the amount of each lot of hay you have when working with the BioZyme Nutrition Team to plan your next steps.

“We need to know the number of bales you have in each lot, so we can help you plan. We look at number of cows you have compared to the amount of forage available, and plan for estimated intake. We want to ensure you are using the right product, a protein mix to supplement, either from BioZyme or from your local grain elevator. That way, you don’t have to guess if it is time to start feeding protein or extra energy,” Glaubius said.

After the tests are analyzed and interpreted and the protein and energy needs are determined, there are four key ways to supplement proteins using the Amaferm® advantage. Amaferm is a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance.

Feed mineral with Amaferm. Get the most out of what your cows are consuming by increasing intake and digestibility. This is the least expensive option at approximately 5 cents per cow per day.

Feed VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® Protein Meal. This is a granular, free-choice mineral. In addition to the mineral, supplemental protein is provided.

Feed VitaFerm Concept•Aid Protein Tub. The tub provides the same nutrition as the protein meal but adds the convenience of the tub form.

Feed VitaFerm 30-13% Protein Tub. This VitaFerm product offers the highest level of protein, but vitamin and mineral levels for maintenance during times of year when nutrient requirements are not as high.

Forage testing is a management practice that helps you plan ahead to make the best nutritional decisions for your herd. Testing now will help you know which forages you need to feed during which stages of production and the proper amounts of protein and energy you need to supplement during those times. The more you know, the more money you could save your operation.

Stress Relief Found in Small Packs

Every Animal is Bound to Have a Bad Day

Stress management is a crucial part of any productive operation. When your livestock are stressed, there can be profound negative consequences on overall herd health and efficiency. Without proper management, not only will the animal’s well-being be compromised, but also the producer’s bottom line. Therefore, swift and effective management decisions are crucial to keep long-term effects of stress at bay. BioZyme® is dedicated to offering a line of products that can help producers protect their livestock from stress or aid them in recovery from those stressors.

So what causes stress in livestock? Any internal or external environmental stimulus that is outside of an animal’s “normal” routine can trigger a stress response. Many common stressors in production agriculture and performance animals include: parturition, weaning, severe weather extremes, transporting, significant diet changes, sickness or spending time on the show road. These stressors can disrupt normal metabolic functions, inhibit normal hormone responses or even impact animal product quality and safety. Management of stress in livestock is achieved through the controlling of the cause of stress and management of the effects of stress. Both can involve nutrition.

Although many stressors, such as weaning, can’t be eliminated, BioZyme’s Vita Charge® brand and select Vitalize® products help producers become better equipped to handle stress through enhanced nutrition. These products have made such a large impact for the simple fact… THEY WORK! Here are the main reasons why you should incorporate Vita Charge and Vitalize products as an integral part of your business.


The Nutritional Value

BioZyme’s small pack products contain powerful doses of vitamins, trace minerals and the Amaferm® advantage. These nutrients are advantageous in stressful times when livestock need protection or assistance in recovery.  When an animal is stressed, trace mineral and vitamin requirements are elevated. When these requirements aren’t met, animals tend to show the effects of stress by going off feed, showing poor conversion or even falling ill. Vitamins, specifically B vitamins, found in the Vita Charge and Vitalize products encourage improved feed intake; while Amaferm® helps multiply good bacteria present in the digestive system. In addition to vitamins and Amaferm, Vita Charge Liquid Boost® and Stress Tubs contain MOS. MOS is a feed additive derived from a specific strain of yeast and promotes increased animal performance through improved gastrointestinal health and integrity. MOS binds to pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella (bacterial causes of scours), and keeps them from attaching to the animal’s digestive tract and causing sickness and decreased performance.

Rapid Response

Because of the synergistic relationship that exists between the vitamin and mineral fortification and Amaferm, customers see a very rapid response in terms of intake and recovery from stressful events. This is due in large to the fact that vitamin and trace minerals have a profound impact on immune function, and Amaferm improves digestibility and nutrient absorption. In other words, animals can absorb more of the nutrients they need most during stress. Up to 70% of an animal’s immunity lies within the digestive tract. Therefore, when an animal feels good on the inside, they look good on the outside!

Regardless of the size and scope of an operation,
there will always be a period of time where livestock (or even companion animals) will endure some sort of stress. But when you combine high quality nutritional products that are easy to use and have a rapid response rate; it’s a no brainer to recommend these products first to potential customers. These products are the quickest way to prove to someone the benefit of Amaferm and the importance of proper nutrition at the right time, as well as the easiest approach to insuring a long-term customer that will incorporate multiple BioZyme products into their feeding regimen.

Transitioning Around Stress

Before, during and after stress there are transition periods. Things may seem normal and smooth sailing, but we all know that gradual or sudden changes are going to occur that will challenge an animal’s health and/or performance. And, after the challenge there is a period of recovery that we need to manage. Stress management can be summed up as two P’s and an R: Prediction, Prevention, and Recovery.

Prediction

If you know stress is coming, your management system should try to reduce or eliminate its effects ahead of time. An example of predicting a stress is knowing that you are going to transport, wean or work animals. If we know when animals will be moved, we can prepare not only the animals but also our equipment. Equipment should have a maintenance schedule. Changing oil, checking tires and filling with fuel are all items we should check off our “to do” list. And, we should have a “to do” list for our animals as well. Making sure they are well rested, well fed, comfortable and protected from injury will reduce stress.

Prevention

Feeding programs that take advantage of feeding Amaferm® daily will help animals combat stress, whether it is predicted or unexpected. Animals that have been supplied a balanced diet have the building blocks available to grow, mount an immune response and have the best chances of meeting any stress challenge that can come their way.

Amaferm has several key impacts on animal nutrition. First, it influences INTAKE. Healthy, stress-free animals eat and drink normal amounts at regular intervals. One of the first signs an animal is experiencing stress is they go “off feed” and change their eating patterns and reduce their intakes. Amaferm has been shown to modulate feed intake and increase water intake which will stabilize and increase the efficiency of the GI tract. Amaferm will also improve DIGESTIBILITY. When diets are being efficiently broken down into nutrients, the health of the animal shines through with outward signs of thrift and well-being. Animals properly digesting their food have shiny hair coats, bright eyes, show signs of happiness and display vigor. Finally, Amaferm assists with nutrient ABSORPTION. Nutrients are only effective when they are absorbed and transported throughout the body. These three items: intake, digestibility and absorption make Amaferm one of the most beneficial components of an animals diet.

All BioZyme products contain Amaferm and aid in stress prevention when used as part of daily feeding program. The Sure Champ® line of products is ideal for helping exhibitors develop a stress preventive program through proper nutrition. Climate Control® is one of BioZyme®’s newest commitments to aid in heat stress prevention. VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® and HEAT® minerals help cow-calf operations prevent and prepare their herds to reach performance goals and take optimum advantage of their feed resources. The Gain Smart® mineral line is ideal for growing and keeping young cattle healthy.

Recovery

Recovery management after a stress event is also a very important part of animal care giving. Stimulating the gut’s microflora make animals stronger, healthier, and ready to perform at their best. That is the number one reason why implementing recovery programs as quickly as possible are vital to the animal. BioZyme has developed a full line of Vita Charge® products specifically for stress recovery. Using Vita Charge products as quickly as possible after the stress will shorten the time it takes for the animals to get back to normal. Our newest product in this line, Vita Charge® Neonatal, designed for young calves, is being used by operations to grow stronger, healthier animals.

The mission of BioZyme focuses on making animals perform at their best. Using Amaferm is one of the easiest and most cost-effective management decisions producers can invest in to help their animals recover from stress.

Tips to Reduce and Handle Heat in Your Stock

Warmer temperatures are quickly approaching, and that means producers should start considering how to help their animals handle the heat. Heat stress is almost inevitable, but some management practices can be implemented to help animals better cope with rising temperatures.

All mammals regulate their internal body temperature involuntarily. Heat stress occurs when the animal’s ability to self-regulate and lower core body temperature is overwhelmed and the animal’s performance and/or health is compromised.

Signs of heat stress:

  • Bunching in the shade
  • Excessive salivation
  • Foam around the mouth
  • Panting
  • Lack of coordination or trembling

Effects of heat stress:

  • Reduced feed intake and weight gain
  • Poor breeding efficiency
  • Lower milk production
  • Increased disease susceptibility
  • Death in severe cases

Being proactive is the best approach to helping animals deal with heat stress. Having a solid management plan in place to combat heat stress could play a crucial role in an operation’s ability to maintain animal performance during periods of increased heat. Some management options include:

Shade: Temperature can be lowered by providing areas where animals can get out of direct sunlight.

Improved ventilation: Providing fans or allowing for adequate air movement helps alleviate heat stress.

Clean, cool drinking water: Water is necessary to keep the animal’s core body temperature within normal limits. Providing cool water will also help cool the animal’s core.

Wetting: Gradually wetting an animal with cool water from sprinklers or hoses is an effective way to cool an animal suffering from heat stress. Wetting the ground can also cool the area where animals lay and reduce the effects of heat stress.

Timing of feeding: By moving the animal’s feeding time to late afternoon or evening will allow rumen fermentation (which creates heat) to take place during cooler temperatures.

It is nothing new that BioZyme® is committed to improving the well-being of animals through nutrition. To help our customers better manage heat stress within their herds, we have developed two products that specifically address heat abatement; VitaFerm® HEAT and Sure Champ® Climate Control Paste. These products contain an extract that helps livestock handle heat stress by lowering core body temperature in a safe, fast, and natural way. Not to mention, the Amaferm® advantage found in both these products is research-proven to lower body temperature.

Achieving Aggressive Appetites

A good appetite is a sign of a healthy animal, but can sometimes be hard to maintain, especially in the summer months. Here are six quick tips for promoting a steady appetite in your livestock.

1. Clean Water:

Water is one of the most important nutrients for your livestock and often one of the most overlooked. Your livestock need access to clean drinking water in order to maintain optimum health. Monitoring your animal’s water quality is an inexpensive and effective way to promote healthy livestock.

2. Fresh Feed:

Whether you get your feed fresh from the mill or use a pre-mixed ration from your local feed store, your animals become accustomed to certain textures and smells. Stay consistent in where you purchase feed as well as the length of time you store feed. Also, if you need to transition to a new formula, mix the new feed in gradually so your animal adapts easily and stays on feed.

3. Temperature Regulation:

Loss of appetite is one of the first signs of heat stress. Keeping your animals cool by providing shade, proper ventilation and air circulation will help keep them on feed. Check out recent articles on proper circulation, ventilation and tips for managing heat stress in cattle at www.surechamp.com/blog.

4. Clean Bedding:

It is important that your animal’s bedding is cleaned on a regular basis. Clean, dry bedding helps prevent the spread of disease and bacteria and promotes overall health in your barn. Healthy, comfortable animals naturally have more appetite.

5. Routine Wellness Monitoring:

A sudden drop in appetite might be an indication of parasites. Performing routine deworming and wellness monitoring of your animals will help prevent problems from occurring.

6. Give them a Boost:

Top-dressing feed with Sure Champ® and/or Sure Champ Spark will help ensure appetite and intake stays more consistent. However, sometimes a poor appetite can be due to other unforeseen circumstances or stressors. If your animal’s loss of appetite is due to stressors such as sickness, hauling or heat, administering Vita Charge® is a great next step. Vita Charge provides a powerful dose of vitamins, B vitamins and the Amaferm® advantage for those stressful times when livestock need protection or assistance in recovery. It can be easily administered as a paste, stress tub or even through your animal’s water.