Are you wondering how to put weight on calves? Well, did you know the combination of Vita Charge® Cattle Drench and Vita Charge® Stress Tubs help support digestive health and intake? If your calves take to eating and drinking without hesitation, one thing is certain: they are likely to gain faster, too.
So, what is Vita Charge?
Vita Charge is a line of fast acting, multi-specie livestock products for support before, during and after stressful times. Both weaning and changing environments are stressful for young calves. Therefore, BioZyme® Inc., makers of Vita Charge, recommend Vita Charge products at weaning, when receiving calves or anytime stress occurs.
Vita Charge comes in various forms, including liquid, gels and tubs for multiple applications. And most products, with the exception of the Cattle Drench and Stress Tubs, can be used across all livestock species. The one commonality across Vita Charge – all products contain the research-proven prebiotic AO-Biotics® Amaferm® designed to enhance digestibility.
Research Proves Vita Charge Works
When BioZyme says it’s products work, we mean it. We take the time to research, test and verify the products we promote to consumers.
In a 2016 University of Tennessee – Martin research trial, 48 calves were purchased at a sale barn. After hauling them for about 2 hours, they were fed hay and water overnight before processing. All calves were stressed from hauling, being in a new environment and heat.
The calves were divided into two groups. A control group and the trial group that was given 1 ounce of Vita Charge Cattle Drench during processing.
In addition to Amaferm, Vita Charge Cattle Drench contains MOS (mannan oligosaccharide) to help normalize the gut microflora and supports the immune system. Drench also includes enzymes to generate a more rapid digestive response.
The trial group of calves were also turned out to pens that included Vita Charge Stress Tubs for three weeks. Stress Tubs are designed to support digestive health and intake. They also contain Amaferm and MOS. Additionally, they contain a probiotic to help restore the gut microbiome.
Cattle provided with Vita Charge Cattle Drench upon arrival recovered more quickly. This is shown with a significant increase in average daily gain (ADG) during week one. The control group actually lost weight during the first week.
The cattle that received Amaferm gained 1.54 pounds/head/day. Conversely, the control group lost .52 pounds/head/day during that first week.
How to Put Weight on Calves? Start Them Off Right
Although most calves will start gaining once they transition, this Tennessee study demonstrated that Amaferm offers an advantage in gain. Yes, the control group did start gaining after week 1. However, even after the Stress Tubs were removed after 21 days (week 3), the calves that had Amaferm in their diet kept outperforming.
Calves in the control group, in weeks 4-7 posted an ADG of 1.45 pounds. In the Amaferm group, the calves had an ADG of 2.33 pounds, more than a 3/4-pound advantage per head. When you are selling pounds, raising cattle to gain efficiently, Amaferm seems like an investment worth making.
What our Customers Have to Say
To put weight on calves means healthy, efficient gain. Matthew Cox runs an Angus cow herd in Nebraska. He also buys calves to background from a sale barn, so he has a combination of cattle to turn out to grass.
He is a big fan of the Vita Charge products, not only for the performance, but also for the increased health.
“I swear by the Vita Charge® Cattle Drench. In our yearling operation, we have noticeably less sickness and better appetites, both on calves we get in from the sale barn and on home-raised calves. We couple the Cattle Drench with Stress Tubs and within two weeks our calves are off to the races. Consumption gets to 2% per 100lbs of body weight within 5 days instead of 10,” he explained.
He went on to say, “the quicker I can stimulate appetite and get that young calf to get enough energy intake with the stressful weaning event the better off I am. Our troubles aren’t as prevalent, and we don’t have to treat calves. That’s a savings of $25-$40 per head with the current price of antibiotics. I am a firm believer in the Amaferm in these Vita Charge products.”
Bubba Rutherford from Texas is another cow-calf producer who believes in the benefits of the Drench.
“I give the Vita Charge Drench to every animal – calf, yearling or cow – that comes onto my place as soon as they unload and go through the chute. Even the cows that are heading to the packing house get the Drench. It seems like it just gives them an extra boost, and the cattle go to feed a lot faster. When we doctor yearlings in the pasture, they get a dose of Vita Charge Drench too, and they go right back to feed,” Rutherford said.
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