Change is never easy on your calf’s health. Any time you change its environment, feeding program or routine, it is likely to get a little stressed out. And that stress impacts its gut health, which can lead to bigger health challenges if not taken care of immediately.
Did you know that 70% of animals’ immune system lies within their digestive tract? Health and immunity are both heavily influenced by the state of the digestive tract. BioZyme® Inc., makes all-natural nutritional supplements for livestock and companion animals to help keep the digestive system healthy and functioning, keeping your animal healthy.
Blaine Rodgers, Show Livestock Business Development & Field Support, said one of the best ways to keep the cattle healthy and eating, especially when getting them transitioned to their new home, is to give them a dose of Vita Charge® Gel. The quick-response gel supports digestive health and promotes feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery. It contains both Amaferm® and MOS, which has a positive impact on the digestive tract by making sure there is an ample supply of good bacteria present in the gut and prevents bad organisms from taking over. Amaferm is a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply within for maximum performance.
Vita Charge Gel can be given any time you notice a decrease in your calf’s appetite or any time added stress occurs: treating for sickness, transporting to show or another location, change in weather, change in routine.
Another product Rodgers recommends is the Vita Charge Stress Tub. These cooked tubs contain trace minerals and vitamins as well as Amaferm and MOS for digestive health. Rodgers said his family leaves them out year-round, but definitely suggests them for the first weeks of the transition period. Not only do the tubs provide a source of nutrients, they help stimulate appetite, not just by their ingredients, but how they are consumed.
“We use Vita Charge Stress Tubs on our sale prospects and show calves all the time. The new calves we bring in will usually go straight to the tubs and go to feed and water with no problem. Thanks to these tubs, it is rare that I have to treat a calf,” said Todd Caldwell, Elmwood, Ill.
“Even if you’re using Amaferm in different source like a top-dress or mixed into your ration, I still recommend the Stress Tubs because one of the reasons the stress tubs help stimulate appetite is the way they are consumed through the licking process and salivation,” Rodgers said. “The saliva helps stabilize the pH in the stomach, so it keeps the digestive tract working even better. There’s lots of studies that show saliva increases appetite so there is actually another function to the products we make – not just product itself, but the way it is consumed.”
In addition to keeping the digestive tract healthy and functioning, it is important to remember the environmental factors to making the transition to a new home as smooth as possible. Especially, with the fall weather fluctuations.
If daytime temperatures are too hot, cattle will not gain. Nor will they want to eat. As the temperatures reach above 70-degrees still in some regions of the country, it is important to provide a shaded area for the cattle to get out of the sun or a place with fans where they can feel air movement. Most cattle perform better at lower temperatures, and if you can keep the day time temperature as similar as the night-time temps, your cattle will feel better, eat better and therefore perform better.
Conversely, if the weather gets too cold, you will want to provide shelter or bedding. Be aware of too many days when the temperatures change 30-40 degrees from day to night and day to day. Extreme shifts in the weather can lead to pneumonia and other respiratory challenges.
“Keeping your animal healthy during this time of transition starts with good digestive health. Remember to take the environment into consideration and treat your animals like you’d want to be treated,” Rodgers said.