Effective, Easy Breeding with Concept•Aid

Vitaferm® Concept•Aid® is a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for beef cattle formulated to promote effective, easy breeding when fed 60 days pre-calving through 60 days post-breeding. High concentrations of vitamin E and organic trace minerals, coupled with the Amaferm® advantage, supports quick repair of the reproductive tract and more energy for reproductive success. Additionally, increased nutrient absorption and digestion leads to healthier and heavier calves giving you performance that pays.

Why Your Customers Need it: 

  • The Amaferm Advantage: Amaferm is a precision prebiotic that provides more intake, feed digestbility and nutrient absorption resulting in amplified breeding performance of the cow.
  • High Vitamin E: Contains high levels of Vitamin E shown to assist in reproductive tract repair.
  • More Stability: Contains organic trace minerals for more stability and higher bioavailability.

Selling Tools:

  • Concept•Aid Quiz: With so many different formulations of Concept•Aid, many customers are not sure which one to choose. To help we’ve created a quiz that asks a variety of questions about their environment and feeding situation. Based on their inputs, it recommends an appropriate Concept•Aid formula for them.
  • Gestation Calculator: We’ve added a gestation calculator and printable gestation table to our website to better serve our customers. In addition to calculating date of birth, it also calculates dates that we recommend feeding Concept•Aid.
  • VitaFerm Conception Calculator: Use this tool to show your customers the additional advantage per calf they can expect from feeding VitaFerm.
  • Progressive Cattlemen rely on VitaFerm: Check out our collection of blogs on why these Progressive Cattlemen rely on VitaFerm.

Show Your Customer’s The Power of Protein

Need help positioning Concept•Aid Protein Products? We have you covered.

Is Your Customer’s Forage Quality Low?

Then, it’s protein time as proper protein supplementation is essential to overall animal productivity and performance that pays! All VitaFerm® ️Concept•Aid® protein products provide the convenience of Concept•Aid along with a natural protein source so there is no need for additional vitamin and mineral fortification when forage quality is low.

Why Your Customers Need it:

  • 20% Natural Protein: Provides the convenience of the highly bioavailable Concept•Aid breeding mineral along with a natural protein meal so there is no need for an additional vitamin and mineral source when forage quality is low.
  • The Amaferm® Advantage: Amaferm is a precision prebiotic that provides more intake, feed digestibility and nutrient absorption resulting in amplified breeding performance of the cow.
  • Two Form Options Available: You can provide customers with the product in their choice of a convenient 200-lb. tub or a more economical mineral form available in a 50 lb. bag.

Marketing Services:

The BioZyme® ️ Marketing Team is available to help you develop materials about the protein products targeted specifically to your local audience. If you would like help, please reach out to Ashley Fitzsimmons, Regional Marketing Manager, at (307) 575-1082 or afitzsimmons@biozymeinc.com.

Hay Testing Services:

Taking hay samples is one step that can help your customers determine if the nutrient requirements of their animals are being met. By having a general idea of the quality of the forage, it will enable you to help provide them the lowest cost ration possible to meet performance expectations.

To learn more about hay testing or help your customers analyze the results of their hay test and choose the best products, visit www.vitaferm.com/hay-testing.

 

Gain Smart Positioning Tools

Need help positioning Gain Smart? We have you covered. VitaFerm Gain Smart is a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for beef cattle with the Amaferm advantage that promotes economically produced pounds by maximizing the natural energy and protein available in forage.
Selling tools:
Share with your customers:

VitaFerm® HEAT® Positioning Tools

Why Your Customers Need It:

• The Amaferm Advantage: Amaferm is a precision-based prebiotic that is research-proven to combat heat stress. It also helps stimulate appetite, increase feed digestibility and maximize nutrient absorption.

• Capsaicin: Capsaicin, a unique blend of clove, cinnamon and chili pepper, keeps cattle eating smaller meals throughout the day while also acting as a vasodilator to mitigate the effects of endophyte positive fescue. Also proven to increase water intake.

• Garlic: Garlic acts as a natural insect repellent as the smell repels insects through breath and skin excretion.

Selling Tools:

  • Video testimonials and two American Rancher shows featuring VitaFerm HEAT are available on the media page at www.vitaferm.com.

Share With Your Customers:

There are some great educational pieces about VitaFerm HEAT available on the blog at www.vitaferm.com/blog. Some of the newer ones to check out are:
Natural Insect Control
Solutions for Making the Most of the Grazing Season
Keep Her Bred Through the Summer

VitaFerm Concept•Aid Positioning Tools

Why Your Customers Need It:

The Amaferm Advantage: Amaferm is a precision-based prebiotic that provides more intake, feed digestbility and nutrient absorption resulting in amplified breeding performance of the cow.

High Vitamin E: Contains high levels of Vitamin E shown to assist in reproductive tract repair, clinical mastitis, improved milk quality and egg cell wall integrity.

57 Times More Stability: Contains OPTiMIN® , proteinated trace minerals for 20% greater availability to the cow than inorganic minerals and 57 times more stability than other organics. OPTiMIN uses more points of attachment for greater stability.

Key Research:

Reproductive Success Report:

The Reproductive Success Report is a study of reproductive success in the areas of conception rate, calving rate and weaning weight of actual herds that fed VitaFerm Concept•Aid. If you have customers that feed Concept•Aid please encourage them to submit their cowherd data so that we can continue to refine this data year after year.

To learn more, visit www.vitaferm.com/reproductive-success-report/

Selling Tools:

Concept•Aid Quiz:

With so many different formulations of Concept•Aid, many customers are not sure which one to choose. To help we’ve created a quiz that asks a variety of questions about their environment and feeding situation. Based on their inputs, it recommends an appropriate Concept•Aid formula for them.

Gestation Calculator:

We’ve added a gestation calculator and printable gestation table to our website to better serve our customers. In addition to calculating date of birth, it also calculates dates that we recommend feeding Concept•Aid.

VitaFerm Conception Calculator:

Use this tool to show your customers the additional advantage per calf they can expect from feeding VitaFerm.

Share With Your Customers:

There are some great educational pieces about VitaFerm Concept•Aid available on the blog at www.vitaferm.com/blog. Some of the newer ones to check out are:

• Don’t Skimp on Winter Supplementation

Nutrition is Vital to Successfully Breeding Back

How to Give Multitasking Mamas an Added Nutritional Boost

 

Don’s Skimp on Winter Supplementation

Even though the first few weeks of fall have just “officially” passed, it is never too early to begin thinking about winter. It seems like producers and meteorologists alike have been discussing that this winter could be bitterly cold and snow covered, and if you are one of the many people who refer to the Farmer’s Almanac, you are probably already planning ahead.

Hopefully those plans include a high-quality nutritional supplementation program for your cowherd. The winter is when your cows will perform some of their hardest work for you. They are in their last few months of gestation and getting ready to calve as breeding season approaches. And often do all this while Mother Nature is at her harshest with sub-freezing temperatures and extra moisture flying about. Although this is the time of year when producers will start looking for a way to cut some expenses, those costs shouldn’t be cut in the way of cow nutrition. According to Kansas State University research, mineral only accounts for less than 4% of the total cow cost per year, whereas roughage is nearly 13% of the total cow cost. When you consider the return on your investment for feeding a high-quality mineral like VitaFerm, that investment pays big dividends.

Proper nutrition of the cow, especially during the last trimester, plays a key role in the development of the calf and ensures its survival once it is on the ground. During the third trimester, the fetus is being prepared for its life outside of the womb – the most rapid growth of the calf occurs, and the lungs mature, getting it ready for delivery.

University of Nebraska research indicates that proper nutrition of the fetus during pregnancy can have a positive impact on the overall health and immunity of the calf, while also impacting growth and carcass merit. “Results indicate that late-gestation maternal protein supplementation may affect carcass quality by affecting calf health. Results also indicate that calves from dams receiving a protein supplement had improved carcass quality.” ¹

All nutrients play a pivotal role in fetal growth and development, but it’s a matter of providing enough of the “right” ones at the “right” time. Energy and protein are the most common considerations when assessing a nutrition program during gestation as they are usually the most limiting nutrients. However, don’t take a good vitamin and mineral program for granted.

Metabolism and many other fundamental bodily processes rely on adequate macro and trace mineral supplementation. These nutrients play an important role in bone formation, hormone development and secretion, enzyme function and more. Trace minerals known to have a significant impact on reproduction and subsequent calf health are zinc, chromium, selenium, iron and manganese. Sufficient trace mineral supplementation ensures proper growth of the fetus and plays a key role in colostrum quality and immunoglobulins produced.

A cow’s nutrient requirements in early gestation aren’t terribly different than her daily maintenance requirements, but as fetal growth increases so does the rest of her nutritional needs. During this time, you aren’t just feeding the cow, you are also feeding her growing and developing calf. Once a cow enters lactation, she will need a much higher level of protein and energy. If her feeding program isn’t meeting her needs she will begin to pull condition off her back to continue providing for her calf, and her performance will begin to lag. You will also need to feed a first-calf heifer or second-calf female much differently than a mature cow. A young pregnant female that is still growing needs more protein than a mature cow. If there aren’t enough nutrients for the heifer and her growing fetus, she will use what is available first to meet her own growth and maintenance needs.

To be sure that your cows are receiving adequate nutrition, provide them a high-quality supplement like VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® . The high vitamin and mineral fortification caters to the heightened nutrient requirements of the cow during the last trimester and early lactation. BioZyme ® utilizes proteinated chelated minerals, the highest quality and most stable bioavailable trace minerals on the market, and high levels of Vitamin E in all their Concept•Aid products. In addition to a suite of vitamins and minerals, Concept•Aid includes Amaferm® , a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance. It is research-proven to increase the energy available to the animal resulting in more milk production as well as to the ability to initiate and maintain pregnancy and fertility.

Concept•Aid is available in different formulations to complement different forage types and qualities to maximize animal performance. BioZyme also offers Concept•Aid in a tub for added convenience, and multiple protein options to meet protein requirements during specific stages of production.

Final fetal development in the third trimester is important to getting a live, healthy calf on the ground. Make sure your cows are ready in that final trimester to deliver a healthy calf that will grow, gain and put profit in your pocket. Take the steps to provide the right nutrients at the right time and be sure to give your calves the nutritional advantage they deserve.

 

*Research cited: ¹ https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=westcentresext

Tips for Reduced Stress at Weaning

If you’ve ever had a young child, think back to his or her first days of school. The word that might come to mind is chaos. Learning a new bus or drop-off routine. Do you pack a lunch or eat the school’s hot lunch? Does your sweetie have a book bag? Item for show-and-tell? The required school supplies? It might sound a little chaotic, and for a cattle producer, that chaos might resemble weaning time.

Yes, it is the most stressful time in your calf’s life. Until now, your calves have had it pretty good. Though the young calves were hopefully exposed to some type of mineral tub or loose supplement, mama cow was always right there with the next meal. And she has always been there to “wash” that tough-to-reach-spot behind the ears. Then one day, the producer gathers pairs and sorts the cows from the calves, and at just 6 or 7-months of age, the calves are weaned and have to learn survival on their own.

At weaning calves are faced with several immediate changes: environment, herd groups, nutritional intake and all while be separated from their mother. And while weaning can be very stressful to the calves, the same period can also be stressful on the producer who strives to keep the calves healthy, eating and growing all during this time of transition.

Kevin Evans, Thaler Land & Livestock at LaGrange, Wyo., offers some practical advice to reduce stress in calves at weaning time.

“It’s critical to get these calves off to a good start. Keeping them healthy at weaning not only helps in increased rate of gain, it helps keep our expenses down in vet bills and cost of labor to treat sick calves,” Evans said.

Choose a nice day. Evans said he picks a day when Mother Nature is on his side, and he pays attention to the long-range forecast as well. “We don’t wean right before a weather system moves in.”

Provide necessary vaccinations. Thaler Land & Livestock takes a proactive approach to animal health and provides needed vaccinations to their calves at weaning time to keep them healthy. This also helps ensure that they don’t have to treat sick calves in just a few weeks.

Provide high-quality supplements like Vita Charge®. Prior to incorporating Vita Charge into his weaning protocol about three years ago, Evans said he would treat up to 10 sick calves a day for the first 30 days of weaning. Now, sick calves aren’t an issue because the calves are eating, drinking and keeping their digestive system in check. “When we wean, we go right to Vita Charge Drench. Those calves seem to come out of the drench, hit the Vita Charge Stress Tubs, and go straight to the bunk. I’ve had no issues the last three years that we’ve used the products.”

The Vita Charge Drench and Stress Tubs contain Amaferm® organic zinc and essential vitamins to stimulate the immune system and to ensure that feed intake stays consistent. Added enzymes and B-vitamins work with Amaferm to generate a more rapid digestive response. Amaferm is a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance. They both also contain MOS that traps bad bacteria limiting their ability to do harm.

“I believe in Amaferm a lot, mostly because I’ve seen the difference in the cattle’s consumption,” Evans said. “And I firmly believe if you’ve got a healthy gut in your cattle, you have a healthy animal.”

Just like young children heading back to school, weaning can be a stressful, even chaotic time in the young calves’ lives. Even recovered cattle performance and ultimately carcass value are impacted by sickness and morbidity early in life. But with proper planning, a good health and vaccination program, the chaos and stress on the calves can be reduced. Now, if only buying school supplies was as simple.

Keep Her Bred Through The Heat Of Summer

Cattle producers go to great lengths to do whatever it takes to get their cows bred. But what about after? Keeping a cow bred, especially during the summer months, can be equally as challenging.

Typically, if a fertile bull breeds cows at the correct time, fertilization rates should nearly reach 100%. However, normal single-service conception rates run anywhere from 60-80%. The 20-40% difference must come from embryonic or fetal loss. Loss of pregnancy can result in longer calving windows, lower weaning weights and less profitability for producers. Oklahoma State University conducted some of the first research on the implications of heat stress on pregnancy rates. Those studies found that when cattle were bred at cooler temperatures, but then exposed to moderate and severely hot temperatures, their pregnancy rates were decreased by as much as 50%. Furthermore, they found that the surviving fetuses were smaller in heat-stressed cows and were more likely to be lost later in pregnancy.

Cattle can experience heat stress once the ambient temperature outside reaches 70 degrees or higher. This means that their upper critical limit for temperature is lower than that of humans. Humidity also can accelerate the implications of heat stress because of their inability to dissipate heat effectively. Therefore, stress can increase pregnancy loss well into the second and third trimester. For spring calvers, calves are weaned and cows are worked in what is typically the hottest months of the year. In the case of fall calvers, these females may calve earlier than expected due to prolonged periods of heat and drought during the third trimester. Be sure to give special considerations to bulls as well during the summer months. Heat stress can affect spermatogenesis (sperm production) and won’t show up until 45 to 60 days post heat stress.

Other factors such as fescue and fescue toxicosis can compound the effects of heat stress. The endophyte found in fescue, which can ultimately lead to fescue toxicosis if proper management isn’t implemented within an operation, limits a cow’s ability to dissipate heat because it reduces blood flow to the skin. If cows and heifers are exposed to diseases they don’t have the proper immune defenses against, the addition of stress from excessive heat can leave them virtually defenseless against sickness. Heat stress decreases grazing and feed intake and in drought situations, malnutrition and resulting dust will result in increased respiratory illnesses and potentially loss of pregnancy.

To help alleviate the implications of heat stress and help keep cows bred, producers can provide a multitude of management techniques to lessen the effects of heat stress.

  • Always provide enough cool, clean drinking water. High temps can double water intake. Increased urine output can deplete bodily mineral stores, so be sure to provide a high quality mineral source at all times.
  • Ample shade will provide relief from heat stress without too many animals gathering in a small area and compromising air flow.
  • Make sure all buildings have adequate ventilation, especially if cows are confined.
  • Wetting via sprinklers or hoses can effectively cool cattle. But pay attention to droplet size; misters just add more humidity to the air.
  • Good fly control can go a long way. To combat flies cattle will bunch and lower air circulation, resulting in elevated heat stress.
  • Avoid working cattle during the hottest hours of the day. The earlier in the day, the better.
  • Depending on the region of the country in which you reside, incorporating more heat tolerant genetics can improve the end product value or overall profitability.

Producers invest a lot of time and resources to get their cows ready for the breeding season. Significant heat stress can result in loss of pregnancy, and bottom line, open cows don’t result in profitable operations. Go the extra mile to lessen the negative impacts of heat stress and help keep your cows bred during the summer heat!

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.

 

Amaferm Advantage Keeps Cattle Healthy and Mediates Antibiotic Use

Prevention is the key to good health in your cow herd. Your herd health protocol should include both a sound nutrition program and good vaccination program. A significant component to a good nutrition program is a quality mineral package that works to keep the digestive system in check.

Taking a proactive approach to your nutrition protocols starts with providing balanced nutrients that your cattle need. Offering a product like a Vita Charge® Stress Tub or another VitaFerm® mineral product with the Amaferm® advantage will help your cattle stay healthy, productive and performing. Amaferm is a natural prebiotic designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed, increasing the intake, absorption and digestibility of nutrients.

Even with a sound nutrition program and proper vaccinations, chances are you will have a few head that get sick and will need to be treated. When treating cattle with antibiotics it is more important than ever to make sure they have Amaferm in their diets. Amaferm works with the antibiotics and helps mediate their negative effects on the digestive system, making sure your cattle get healthy and keep eating.

One often forgotten side effect of antibiotic use is the potential negative effect on the beneficial microbial population residing in the digestive system. A common side effect of prolonged antibiotic treatment is a reduction or slowing of the growth rate of these important microbes. Amaferm is research-proven to combat stress by supporting the animal’s own immune system, significantly increasing intake and nutrient utilization. Research shows that Amaferm helps support increased numbers of rumen bacteria and helps maintain a diverse population in terms of species, which is fundamental to a healthy animal.

Kevin Glaubius, director of nutrition for BioZyme®, offers some key takeaways from a Kansas State University Amaferm and antibiotic trial. Although the effects of the Amaferm were dependent on the antibiotic used and the species of bacteria that were studied, Amaferm did have positive impact on the antibiotics commonly used to treat sickness. This occurred by allowing the growth rates of important species of rumen bacteria to more closely resemble the growth rates of bacteria in the non-antibiotic controls.

“Some of the antibiotics we looked at in the study stopped growth of some of the microorganisms that aid in digestion, which could have a negative effect in the overall performance of the animal,” Glaubius said.

If you do have to treat a sick animal with an antibiotic, consider giving it a dose of Vita Charge Paste or Vita Charge Drench in conjunction with treating it. The Amaferm in the Vita Charge will help alleviate stress and keep the animal eating while it heals.