Strong beef calves start with a mother in peak health. It is a true balancing act to provide proper nutrition to beef cows while also keeping their digestive systems healthy. Veterinarians and nutritionists are focusing more attention on intestinal as well as rumen health. Optimizing feed and nutrient utilization are key to her immune status. If good nutrition is not in place she will fail to meet her genetic potential and her calf will develop serious health problems.
What are the Challenges? – Enteric disorders, pathogenic agents, anti-nutritional factors and the use of new by products.
A cow with a compromised Immune System may affect her calf in the following ways:
- Health problems caused by scours or respiratory disease result in poor growth.
- Health problems add cost to prevent and treat diseases. Poor health leads to an increase in morbidity and death-loss.
- Pathogens destroy gut health and integrity. This leads to a decrease in absorption of vital nutrients and thus performance.
- Immuno-suppression leads to major economic loss in any operation.
- Depressed milk production resulting in lower weaning weights.
Natures solutions to enhance a cow’s immune system.
When a cow becomes sick, one or more components of her immune system have not performed adequately. The goal for any producer is to help support the cow’s immune system and allow her to regain her health so that she can reach her genetic production and reproduction potential. The efficiency of the immune response relies not only on specific recognition of foreign antigens, but also on the nutrition status of the cow. Beef producers should take advantage of nature’s solutions to ensure that the cow and calf’s immune status are at peak performance.
MOS: Supplementation with MOS has demonstrated a positive affect on a number of immune functions. MOS has been shown to improve the Immunoglobulin levels in colostrum. It has been shown to reduce morbidity/sickness in cows thus ensuring her immune status is optimal at calving. Passive immunity from the antibodies in the cow’s colostrum is critical for building immunity in baby calves.
Lactobacillus bacteria: Gut-associated Immunity is critical to disease resistance. Lactobacillus can survive through the digestion process and compete with pathogenic bacteria and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the lower intestine.
Bacillus Subtilis: Bacillus Subtilis has been shown to promote a healthier intestinal environment which helps reduce the pressure from enteric disease. Bacillus Subtilis grows in the digestive tract and produces large quantities of digestive enzymes aiding in the digestion of farm feed. Bacillus Subtilis also competes with pathogenic bacteria for space on the intestinal wall.
Yeast: Yeast stimulates fiber-digesting bacteria, stabilizes rumen environment and utilizes lactic acid. Yeast targets enhanced rumen function, improve fiber digestibility, dry matter intake and helps your cows during periods of heat stress.
Minerals: Appropriate intake of key minerals and vitamins is essential for beef cattle productivity and health. Strong immune systems, reproductive performance and calf weight gain are all influenced by mineral and vitamin nutrition. While subclinical deficiencies often go unrecognized, they can cause a reduction in growth and efficiency and depress the immune system. Proper mineral and vitamin nutrition contributes to strong immune systems, reproductive performance, and calf weight gain.
Nature allows Beef producers to utilize these natural growth-promoting substances in response to consumer demands for natural farm feeds.