Did you know that 70% of health begins in the digestive tract? With that in mind, if any being has a healthy digestive system, it is more likely to remain healthy and happy. A healthy animal is going to gain, grow and perform better. That is the foundation on which BioZyme® Inc. initially founded its animal health and nutrition business.
The Importance of Animal Health
Animal health and wellness, especially digestive health, is the cornerstone of the agricultural sector. It directly influences the overall well-being of livestock and, consequently, the productivity and sustainability of farming operations.
Healthy animals are pivotal to ensuring a consistent and reliable food supply, especially the production of meat, milk, eggs and other animal-derived products. Healthy animals are also better companion animals. No one wants to pet a grumpy dog! That’s why BioZyme prioritizes supporting all species with safe, accurate products. Maintaining optimal animal health is essential for preventing the spread of diseases within herds or flocks, mitigating economic losses and safeguarding producers’ livelihoods.
Additionally, healthy animals are more efficient in converting feed into products, enhancing the efficiency of agricultural practices. Veterinarian care, proper nutrition and disease prevention measures are integral to promoting animal health in agriculture. They help foster a balance between the welfare of livestock and the economic viability of farming enterprises.
Ultimately, a robust focus on animal health in the agricultural sector is crucial for ensuring food security, sustainability and the overall success of ranching endeavors.
A Foundation of Nutritional Support
BioZyme was started by a former Cargill salesperson, Larry Ehlert, in 1945. He purchased the St. Joseph Feed & Supply Company, a fledgling feed store on Packers Ave., across from the booming St. Joseph Stockyards. With a $2,500 loan, he started his own brand, Ehlert’s Guaranteed Feeds.
In 1958, Ehlert started the “Vita Ferm System” as a logical and economical means of benefitting those farm and ranch families involved in the livestock industries. The key component of the Vita Ferm System: Amaferm, an unheard-of direct-fed microbial.
The Amaferm Answer
Amaferm was discovered in 1943 and patented by H.E. Kistner Sr. in 1959. A unique extract produced from a select strain of Aspergillus oryzae, today Amaferm is the subject of more than 100 research studies. These studies review its mode of action, impact on digestion and its increase in animal performance.
In 1968, Ehlert purchased the patent and the rights to Amaferm and founded BioZyme Enterprises Inc. In 1978, our name became BioZyme Incorporated, and we moved to our present-day location on Stockyards Expressway.
With a focus on digestive health and integrity through feed intake, digestion and absorption, Amaferm has been the key ingredient in nearly every product BioZyme has ever produced.
Today, more than ever, BioZyme believes in providing “care that comes full circle” to both people and animals. That is why it is vital that every animal health product we make is backed by research, and that every life we touch is impacted positively.
Prebiotics vs. Probiotics for Animal Health
Despite the similarity in their names, prebiotics and probiotics have significant differences. Probiotics contain microorganisms or spores intended to be alive at the time of consumption. This adds “good” microbes to the animal’s gut. However, because probiotics are living, they are delicate and often do not have a long shelf life.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not alive, and they can withstand heat, moisture, acidity, sunlight and other environmental conditions. This allows them to be pelleted for improved palatability and fed with antibiotics without fear of diminished efficacy. Prebiotics have an overall better shelf life to provide a quality product.
Prebiotics work to enhance the good microbes that naturally occur in the gut. This allows the gut microbes to multiply quicker and work with greater efficiency. The nature of prebiotics also allows for stimulation of all beneficial microbes within the gut, whereas probiotics generally only add one or two specific types of bacteria.
Due to these differences, probiotics and prebiotics aid in distinct aspects of gut function. In fact, the two can work synergistically when the resident microbe population needs to be restored and replenished.
Amaferm is a Prebiotic
AO-Biotics® Amaferm® is a prebiotic manufactured at BioZyme Inc. using a select strain of the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. We produce Amaferm through a proprietary multi-step fermentation process developed by scientists at BioZyme. There are many other A. oryzae fermentation products on the market. However, our process yields a high-quality product for use in animal diets.
During the past 70 years, Amaferm has been extensively researched by universities and private facilities worldwide and been the subject of more than 100 peer-reviewed papers. This research proves Amaferm’s mode of action and impact on the microbes and the animal in which those microbes reside.
Amaferm is the key ingredient in a majority of the BioZyme family of brands. The Missouri-based company produces supplements for beef cattle, sheep, goats, horses, dogs and birds.
The BioZyme Family of Brands
Those brands include:
- VitaFerm®, a line of nutritional supplements for beef cattle that maximize energy and forage utilization for successful production.
- Gain Smart®, a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for stocker cattle that promotes healthy, economical pounds.
- Sure Champ®, a line of products that support the health and well-being of show livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and swine).
- Vitalize®, a line of supplements for horses, dogs and cats with proven solutions to keep your animal healthy and performing.
- DuraFerm®, a line of nutritional supplements for sheep and goats that supports optimal digestion and nutrition for maximized performance at every stage of production.
- Backyard Boost®, a line of products purposefully crafted to support the well-being of birds.
The products produced by BioZyme offer real-world solutions for livestock producers, equestrians, pet owners and backyard bird enthusiasts.
BioZyme Also Offers a Postbiotic
Through its continued research and innovation efforts, BioZyme introduced its first postbiotic late in 2022. AO-Biotics® EQE, the first-and-only A.O. postbiotic developed specifically for layers, was launched using patent-pending technology.
Unlike ordinary postbiotics, AO-Biotics EQE starts with BioZyme’s proprietary strain of Aspergillus oryzae (A.O.), a fungus used to specially ferment biotics that address specific animal production challenges.
“BioZyme has used A.O. in a proprietary fermentation process for more than 70 years to create prebiotics like Amaferm, designed to enhance digestibility,” explains Cesar Ocasio, Ph.D., BioZyme business development and innovation manager.
“Now, through the AO-Biotics brand, BioZyme offers a new line of prebiotics and postbiotics, matched to specific animal health challenges, well-being and productivity. The way we have developed these products is truly innovative and a game-changer for the industry.”
EQE for Animal Health
Research-driven, with hands-on ownership from discovery to market, AO-Biotics EQE delivers a new level of performance for customers ready to solve things differently. This unique product has been proven to enhance egg quality and egg production through both university research and field trials.
On average, including EQE in the diet throughout the production cycle has increases the number of sellable eggs per hen and egg mass by approximately 3%. Results also show an approximate 3% improvement in egg production and a remarkable 20-25% reduction in mortality.
Doing the Most for Animal Health
Both Amaferm and EQE are included in animal diets to meet specific challenges around the globe. However, they are also key ingredients in the supplements that BioZyme makes to meet animal health needs domestically as well.
Research is at the very forefront of everything we do. BioZyme remains innovative and continues to research to stay at the forefront of animal health.
The BioZyme family of brands is marketed throughout the United States by our dealer network to livestock producers, horse and pet owners and bird enthusiasts. The results that our customers see in keeping their animals healthy, growing and performing further confirm the years of research that BioZyme has conducted.
Here’s what our Customers Say…
Scottie Plendl, an Iowa cow-calf producer, shares his experiences.
“Since I started feeding the BioZyme® products with Amaferm®, I have seen a night and day difference in my conception rates and my calves’ performance at weaning. I started feeding VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® two years ago, and I have averaged 94% conception rates on A.I. the past two years. Last year, my E.T. conception rates were 85%, and this year, all but three embryos took.
“I mix the VitaFerm® Concept•Aid in with my feed ration 30 days before calving in the spring through 30 days after I breed to make sure my cows are getting all the nutrients they need. At the beginning of summer, I feed the VitaFerm® Concept•Aid HEAT® and keep them on the VitaFerm HEAT all summer. To make sure they are receiving adequate protein while grazing corn stalks in the fall, I put out the VitaFerm Concept•Aid Protein Tubs. I also give my calves the Vita Charge® Stress Tubs at weaning time to make sure they get the jump start they need nutritionally. Some people are afraid of the price, but I say it is worth it for two extra calves.”
2023 World Champion Breakaway Roper Shelby Boisjoli Meged has this to say about the equine products.
“Sometimes younger horses coming out of the reining and cutting barns have been on some unhealthy things to keep up their weight. When those horses come off the drench they are on, they can go downhill really fast. When they get on the Vitalize® Alimend®, those horses do better. Or horses that are drawn up or hound gutted, I like to put on the Alimend—it seems to drop their gut and make them look a lot fuller.”
…about Backyard Boost
We also started incorporating the AO-Biotics EQE into Backyard Boost® Daily Essentials. One customer that runs two 41-egg incubators noticed a huge difference after switching her hens to Daily Essentials.
“My hatch rates increased from 44% to 73% once I started my chickens on the Backyard Boost pellets. I also haven’t had any chick deaths due to health since that time either,” Terra Sellers said.
BioZyme Offers Something for Everyone
With a company motto of care that comes full circle, BioZyme truly does offer animal health products for nearly every species. Want to learn more? Read our research or visit one of our educational blogs.