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 gel, stress tub or even through your animal’s water.