How to Prevent Grass Tetany

 

The snow might be flying throughout much of the country, but it won’t be long before cattle producers are thinking about turning pairs out to pasture. Although that lush green grass seems appealing, there are hidden concerns that producers need to remember when turning out their cows.

One of those concerns is grass tetany. Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition at BioZyme® Inc., took time to answer a few questions about grass tetany to help producers prepare for spring and early summer grazing.

  1. What is grass tetany? How is it caused and what are the symptoms?

Grass tetany is also called grass staggers because when cattle become susceptible they start to stagger around and will go down on their side. One of the first symptoms is general lack of coordination.

Most producers think of tetany as a magnesium deficiency, because feed companies use magnesium to prevent occurrence, but really it is excessive intake of potassium. Potassium and magnesium compete for the same absorption pathway. Think of it like a funnel where three potassium marbles are trying to get through the funnel the same time as one magnesium marble. Since the percentage of potassium marbles is greater, that nutrient is more likely to go down the funnel and get absorbed before the magnesium does.

Tetany typically occurs in older animals rather than younger animals because of an inability to mobilize the magnesium from the bones. Mature cows will show signs long before a young calf.

 

  1. Is there a time of year it is most prevalent? Is grass tetany found in every region or does it confine itself to one geographic area?

Most of the time tetany will happen when cattle are on lush forages. While transitioning from winter to spring, nutrients, including potassium, are being pumped up from ground through the roots to support plant growth. When we have a few weeks of warm weather, those nutrients get pumped up to the plant that is above ground, actively growing. But if a cold snap or cool weather sets in, growth pauses but those nutrients remain in the plant. With those warm weather/cold weather cycles, the potassium levels can potentially become twice the amount they normally are, leading to tetany challenges when you turn your cows out around May 1.

Since tetany is a nutritional issue, it isn’t isolated to just the spring and summer when we turn cattle out to grass; It can also happen while feeding hay. In that case, we have what might be referred to as “winter tetany” or “wheat pasture poisoning” when cattle are fed harvested winter feeds that are high in potassium.

Most of the country doesn’t have problems with it in the fall. However, it can be an issue especially if producers fall fertilize.

Tetany is a global issue and impacts all ruminants who have an improper potassium:magnesium ratio.

 

  1. What are the best ways to prevent grass tetany?

There is no perfect mineral for preventing grass tetany. If you have extremely high potassium level, it is important to realize that a higher percentage of magnesium doesn’t always mean it is better. Magnesium isn’t palatable, and cows will likely walk away from straight magnesium or minerals with slightly higher levels of magnesium.

Start increasing magnesium levels about two weeks before turning out to pasture so you can gauge how much the cow might eat when she is turned out on grass. Remove all other sources of salt so that forces the cows to get salt from the mineral if the bitterness of higher magnesium restricts intake to less than the restricted amounts.

Feeding a high mag mineral during the high-risk periods such as spring and fall when the growing season can easily be disrupted will prevent the vast majority of issues.

  1. If an animal is diagnosed with grass tetany, how is it best treated?

Remember to check your cattle regularly when they are first turned out to new, green grass. Grass tetany is treatable if it is caught early enough. Call your veterinarian at the first signs of any tetany. The vet will typically provide an intravenous solution of calcium, magnesium and glucose to get the cow back on her feet. Timing is critical, though as cows will likely die if not treated within 4-8 hours after onset.

The key to preventing tetany is to provide the proper amounts of all nutrients, Glaubius said. If you can keep your magnesium to potassium ratio in check, your cows should enjoy grazing green grass and keep healthy. BioZyme offers several supplements in its VitaFerm® product line that are enhanced with magnesium to help prevent the onset of tetany including VitaFerm Concept•Aid® Mag/S. And VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mag Mineral. To learn more about these and other VitaFerm Products, visit: http://vitaferm.com/all-products.

 

Dealer Spotlight: Kennel Supply LLC

Like all dealers, Jon Stidham believes in the products he sells, and he has used them first-hand for more years than he’s sold them. However, Stidham, owner at Kennel Supply LLC, is a specialized dealer that carries one product line – Vitalize® Canine Products.

Kennel Supply is a specialty business that started 10 years ago and became a BioZyme® dealer at the same time. The company sells to tracks, kennels, zoos, cat complexes and circuses, and pet owners with a majority of their business consisting of raw meat that they ship across the nation to customers for their animals.

“Ninety percent of my business is selling raw meat into the dog racing world and people who want to feed raw meat to their pets and animals, and of course if you’re going to feed raw meat, you need a product like Vitalize to help break down and absorb the nutrients in the meat,” Stidham said. “Vitalize is an important part of my business so I can upsell when people get on the raw diet.”

Stidham, who is also a dog breeder, explains that there has been a movement in the past few years to move away from processed dog food and start feeding dogs more raw meat.

“People are seeing their pets live longer and happier lives on a raw diet as opposed to cooked, processed dog food that has additives and things that are not natural to their diet,” he said.

Since carnivores eat raw meat in the wild rather than grazing in fields or eating vegetables, more people have grasped the concept. And Kennel Supply has capitalized on the opportunities that exist to supply a product that is in high demand.

As only one of a few raw meat distributors in the country, Kennel Supply gets its meat from a plant in Redgranite, Wis., that primarily harvests older dairy cows that would be undesirable for human consumption. Stidman explains that the meat is still safe for animal consumption and tested regularly by the USDA. The meat is packaged in smaller tubes for smaller operations, or in 30-pound slabs for bigger kennels, accommodating their customers’ various needs.

Stidham told of race tracks that order by the semi-truckload, or about 42,000 pounds, of raw meat every 4-6 weeks, noting why complete nutrition is so important when feeding several thousand dogs per day.

“The gut is important for nutrition absorption and adding the Vitalize optimizes the absorption of nutrients from the meat. The meat promotes muscle development, especially in the puppies and the dogs working at the track. Vitalize is a part of the complete diet for puppies, juveniles and adults. The only time our dogs don’t get it is when puppies are nursing, and their eyes aren’t open yet,” he said.

The product speaks for itself, according to Stidham, and he has never had any product complaints from his customers.

“People know and expect what they are getting with Vitalize. I have a very loyal following of customers who use the product, and large breeders who use the product comprehend the importance of nutrition, so they get the importance of Vitalize as part of the raw diet,” Stidham said.

For more information about Kennel Supply, visit kennelsupplyllc.com.

Information Boosts Confidence

Knowledge is power. The more information you have about anything, the more confidence you will have to talk about that product. The more confidence you have, the more enthusiasm you will project, and enthusiasm is contagious!

The above statements are true if you are talking about roping horses, fishing boats or livestock nutrition supplements. Matthew Hudson shares the following in an article on Balance.com, “Seeing someone completely enthusiastic about a product is one of the best selling tools. As you generate excitement for the product, you remove any uncertainty that the product may not be the best solution for that customer. The easiest way to become enthusiastic is to truly believe in the product. Remember, the first sale you make is yourself; the second sale is the product. If they believe in you, they will believe in the product you are selling.”

Many dealers use BioZyme® products, so they have first-hand knowledge and enthusiasm to share with customers and potential customers. However, other opportunities still exist for you to enhance your product knowledge, and therefore share your enthusiasm about the products.

The Master Dealer Program is a great way to expand your product knowledge and help build your confidence about products and programs you might need some additional information about. The online training modules cover a variety of topics, including the overall BioZyme company information and the Amaferm® advantage as well as all the individual product lines.

“When I started the classes, little did I know the outcome would be so great – from learning about nutrition, how to increase sales and the magical ‘Amaferm.’ As they say, knowledge is power. I am thankful to be part of the BioZyme family,” said Yolanda Novack, Master Dealer from Novack Feed & Grain in Lankin, N.D.

Once a dealer successfully completes the training modules and carries at least four of the product lines, they become recognized and marketed as a Master Dealer. It will receive a special designation on the Dealer Locator page on the website, signage with the Master Dealer designation will be provided to the store; and employees who complete the training will be given a special jacket with the Master Dealer logo on it.

BioZyme works hard to give their dealers every opportunity to learn and grow with the company. The Master Dealer program is just one example of the resources created to ensure dealers have access to both people and tools necessary to grow and flourish. And the more employees who complete the Master Dealer training from each location, will experience

more enthusiasm, and therefore should increase their sales.

“The Master Dealer program gives you all the knowledge and understanding you need to be a successful BioZyme dealer or sub-dealer. I truly believe it ties everything we do here at BioZyme together, our values, our brands, our key ingredients, our products and our services offered to our incredible dealers and sub-dealers,” said Ailee Langdon, Events and Training Coordinator at BioZyme. “One of my favorite things I have heard from Lisa Norton is, “take the time, find a way.” Take the time and find a way to enhance your knowledge and grow your business and complete the Master Dealer Program today.”

Dealers with more than one employee interested in completing the training should contact Langdon directly at 816-596-8782 and she will give that employee access to only the Master Dealer Training modules on your Online Dealer Center. Every employee who completes the training will receive a special jacket.

Sales Solve Everything

If you are going to survive in business, there is just one thing you need to master – sales. That’s right. You have a product or service that you offer, now get out there and sell it. That seems obvious, but there are definite steps to mastering the art of sales.

According to Entrepreneur.com, there are 10 traits that make a great leader. These traits, combined with the conviction-based selling technique, will attract customers and help you master your sales skills.

What qualities do leaders possess that make them master sellers?

  1. Confidence – They are sure about their skill/product, know its value and are proud of being associated with it.
  2. Commitment – Leaders are committed to their vision, mission or goal. They pursue it zealously, no shortcuts.
  3. Integrity – Leaders possess strength of character and maintain honesty with all stakeholders – organization, employees, vendors and customers.
  4. Above par soft skills – Leaders know how to treat people around them, be it business associates, partners or customers – they treat everyone courteously with utmost respect. Good leaders concentrate on building a relationship first, then on closing the sale.
  5. Continuous learners – Leaders are always on the lookout to update their knowledge and skill set and they share it openly with their associates. Not only this, they also seek feedback and if genuine, they implement it.
  6. Target oriented – Leaders are very target oriented – they plan and execute as per the plan.
  7. Good listeners – They are very good listeners. They pick up on subtle cues and know without explicit communication when a deal can be pursued further or when they need to take a step back.
  8. Good communicators – Along with being good listeners, leaders are well versed with the art of making small talk. A leader effectively uses the ‘you attitude’ to put people at ease and gets them to voluntarily listen to what he has to say.
  9. Problem solvers – Leaders by nature are problem solvers. Instead of letting an issue foster, they deal with it on a priority to sort it out.
  10. Product and market knowledge – last but not the least, they have in-depth product knowledge and they know how the market in which they operate performs and where it is headed – i.e. along with the present they also have an eye on the future.

Instead of using a relationship-based selling technique or even transaction-based selling, leaders use the conviction-based selling method, which exhibits their passion toward their area of expertise, in our case animal nutrition. This creates a ‘pull’ effect; ‘an attraction’ toward the leader, creating a demand for his or her expertise, skills, services and products.

As you review the list of leadership skills that will help you master the art of selling, focus on the areas where you are the weakest. You should see gradual increases in your sales and the numbers grow in your checkbook.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249927

Asking Questions To Attract Their Attention

Often, we hear dealers say, “the products sell themselves.” But how do our products get sold to new customers or those who are a little skeptical? We need to know our customers’ needs and understand exactly what they are trying to achieve.

The best way to get to know your customer or a potential customer is to have a conversation with him or her. Discover what goals they have set forth and listen. You will likely need to lead this conversation because most people, especially in agriculture, don’t like to talk about themselves or share too much information. And, your questions will have to be more of a conversation than an interview, seeming more natural than just a list of predetermined questions you have with hopes to make a sale.

People don’t always know what they want. However, they usually know what they don’t want. Use these 10 questions to help you start a conversation to attract new customers to your business.

  1. When it comes to (segment of industry person is in) what is your biggest challenge or hurdle you face when trying to meet your goals?
  2. Which of your needs are not currently being met?
  3. What products/services do you value the most?
  4. How can the products/services you use be improved?
  5. What is one area of your business you need to improve on? And how can I help you make those improvements?
  6. What features of a product/service make you annoyed?
  7. Would you be willing to invest more in a product/service if you knew the ROI would be greater than what you are currently experiencing?
  8. What opportunities or benefits are you willing to pay more for?
  9. At what price does my product or service provide great value to you?
  10. Have you ever thought, “if only a company like ours could do [BLANK] for me, life would be so much easier?” …Tell me about BLANK and how you would find it useful.

Once you have a conversation started, really listen to the potential customer’s answers. Does it sound like you have a product or service that is needed by this person at this time?  Great! Then it is time to start talking about your products or services to make a sale. Don’t talk about products or services that aren’t relevant, but show that you genuinely care and respect the person’s needs and desires by telling them how you can help their operation. The number one thing that attracts new customers is showing respect and a genuine concern/interest in people.

Keep your Canine Companions Healthy: Give them the Amaferm® Advantage

Man’s best friend, the dog, has become a more integral part of most of our everyday lives. As veterinary care and technology evolves, dogs are living longer, healthier lives. As dog owners and lovers, we can help support this healthy lifestyle by providing adequate nutritional and digestive support.

Dogs are monogastrics, but unlike pigs and humans, are primarily carnivorous. In order to digest animal fats and proteins quickly and efficiently, dogs have short, acidic digestive tracts. Compared to other animals, dogs release a higher amount of hydrochloric acid, which aids in the breakdown of proteins and helps kill off any bacteria that could be found on raw meat. They also digest their food more quickly than animals that are herbivorous because plant material takes longer to break down. A longer digestive process is also associated with a longer digest tract. Therefore, dogs have a very short digestive tract compared to many other animals.

When your dog’s digestive system is functioning properly, the typical meal takes between 6 and 9 hours to pass through the digestive tract. In comparison, the entire digestive process in a cow generally takes more than 24 hours. During this time, the food is reduced into basic nutrients that the dog can absorb and utilize. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, fats into fatty acids, and proteins into amino acids, all which work to keep your dog looking and feeling healthy.

Common threats to healthy digestion in dogs include eating inappropriate foods or garbage, abrupt changes of diet, intestinal parasites, food allergies, infections, and viruses. When your dog’s digestive system is not functioning properly, the result may be gas, diarrhea or vomiting. For some dog owners, perhaps the most common cause of digestive upset is consumption of inappropriate items such as garbage, manure or hoof clippings.

Whatever the cause, Amaferm® helps smooth digestion by stimulating microbial enzyme production in the dog’s small intestine. These enzymes help break down food so it can be better utilized by the body. In addition to improving digestion, Amaferm also helps maximize the absorptive capacity of the gut. Several trials in conjunction with kennels, pet food manufacturers, and veterinarians have shown the benefit of Amaferm in increasing digestion and absorption of food and reducing nutrients left in fecal matter. Better digestion and absorption of food means healthier dogs with less digestive upset and less waste!

February 2018 – Letters from Lisa

February is the month of romance, the basis of which is attraction. Of course, this stems from the fact that Valentine’s Day was on February 14. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in most countries and is often chosen as the perfect day to express love and commitment. Besides celebrating Valentine’s with our loved ones, I believe we should also celebrate it at work. Celebrating what one loves about work converts to a culture that is contagiously successful. So, if asked “What do you love about your job?” what would you say?

My top answer would be similar to the 40,000 employee respondents in a Tinypluse survey. I love the people I work beside. They are my family. While not surprising, this answer was given three times more often than the next most-cited reason (freedom, autonomy, flexibility). In my opinion, all of our family (employees, dealers and distributors) are a pleasure to work with and an amazing family. And yes, that means you. You are amazing! You are our family!

I love being a part of something that makes a difference. One of the most attractive parts of our company is our motto, “care that comes full circle.” We take care of the animals, and they take care of us. And I am not just referring to the food they provide. The rise of animal therapy is backed by increasingly serious science showing that social support–a proven antidote to anxiety and loneliness–can come on four legs, not just two. Animals of many types can help calm stress, fear and anxiety in young children, the elderly and everyone in between. Don’t laugh at me for sharing this amazing study from Time magazine:

A stressed-out group of adults were told to pet a rabbit, a turtle or their toy forms. The toys had no effect. But stroking a living creature, whether hard-shelled or furry, relieved anxiety. It worked for people regardless of whether they initially said they liked animals. By the way, rabbits love Vita Charge® Liquid Boost®.

I love that everyone on our team is so full of passion. This enthusiasm constantly motivates me to keep going even when I am getting tired. Our employees’ passion amazes me daily, but our customers’ passion motivates me, as I believe passion is the one thing our competition can’t copy. Watch out here we come!

I love the variety. Every day is different, and I get to interact with such varied groups of people assisting with opportunities, challenges and just trying to help out. This variety ensures that I am always learning, and I love to learn and to help others do the same.   

In the end this is love in my opinion – – –  You don’t feel alive once you get off work, you feel alive while you’re at your desk–or, maybe more precisely, in your flow. If you love your job, you hardly ever look at the clock and end the day surprised you have to go home now.

I would like to end by saying how much I love the future. The opportunity the future brings for all of us is mind boggling, but more importantly the opportunity it brings in the life of the animals we all love enough to stay up all night freezing to death or getting up early to haul them, braid them or blow them out (and yes I know what this is) is a gift from our Lord I can’t wait to watch unfold for our family.

Reproductive Success Report Webinar Recording

We have completed the first round of data in the Reproductive Success Report that compares cows fed VitaFerm Concept•Aid to the industry average in areas of conception rates, calving rates and weaning weights.

In the video below, Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition discusses the results. This is great data we want each of you to be able to use to fully explain the benefits of our best selling product!