Have You Herd? AABP PodCasts

Beef Cattle Starter Rations

July 17, 2023 AABP
Have You Herd? AABP PodCasts
Beef Cattle Starter Rations
Show Notes

AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich is joined by Dr. Matthew May, Director of Production Services at Feedlot Health Management Services by Telus Agriculture. This episode of AABP's Have You Herd? podcast is sponsored by Lactipro. Lactipro is a rumen-native probiotic consisting of a live, stable and naturally occurring strain of Mega e. Lactipro places a large number of Mega e into the rumen, where it immediately begins targeting lactic acid and producing butyric acid. Lactipro helps cattle producers support healthy rumen pH, while safely accelerating to finishing diets and reducing post-terminal processing mortality. 

May begins by discussing some of the changes in the rumen microbial population from fiber digesters to starch digesters and how starter rations can influence the rumen. The history of the calf is important, but unfortunately that can often be missing with some arrival cattle. If the diet the cattle were on is available, it can be much easier to transition those cattle to full feed versus cattle that have an unknown history. Access and availability of water is very important for calf health and growth. May suggests that 1 linear inch of water trough space per head is standard, but could be increased to 2-3 inches in receiving pens. Ensuring regular cleaning, often daily, of water troughs in receiving pens is also important. May also discusses the importance of working with veterinarians on feed additives such as ionophores or antimicrobials to optimize health of the calf and rumen. Nutrition consulting is also not just about the ration ingredients but ensuring feed quality, consistency, delivery and consumption. Finally, we discuss the importance of knowing the goals for the cattle to help to optimize the timing of moving the calf from the starter ration to full feed. Although growth is important, ensuring that cattle transition to the feeding phase successfully even if growth is decreased initially will have a minimal impact on the productivity of the calf if it remains healthy.  

Find out more information about Feedlot Health Management Services by Telus Agriculture on their website.  

To learn more about Lactipro, visit https://msbiotec.com.