It’s weaning time. Whether you are retaining your own stocker calves or getting them in from other producers, it is important to have a plan to grow those calves in a healthy, efficient manner. The Gain Smart® Stocker Program is one program dedicated to growing cattle in three easy steps.
The Gain Smart Program is built around Amaferm®, a natural prebiotic designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed. Amaferm helps increase the animals’ feed and water intake, increases digestibility, and increases absorption of nutrients. Research has shown that during an 84-day growing period the Amaferm advantage has increased feed efficiency by 6-percent.
For maximum results, start the Gain Smart Program the day calves are weaned. Use the Vita Charge® Cattle Drench on that first day to help make sure calves get to the bunk and to eat and drink readily early on.
Next, introduce the Vita Charge Stress Tub to the calves the first 2-3 weeks after the calves are weaned. The tub will promote feed and water intake, increase digestibility to maximize the energy value of the feed for more gains, and contains MOS, which helps trap bad bacteria limiting their ability to harm the animals. In addition, the Vita Charge Stress Tub provides 24-hour access to a supplement that includes Amaferm, trace minerals and vitamins that are conducive to helping the cattle recover from stress as quickly as possible.
The final step in the Gain Smart Program is the introduction of one of the mineral options available. The mineral can be introduced to the calves immediately. It works hand-in-hand with the Stress Tub, and then Stress Tub can be removed once the calves have a healthy eating routine established.
There are four mineral options: Gain Smart Stocker, Gain Smart Wheat, Gain Smart Balancer RU 1600, and new this year is the Gain Smart Stocker HEAT®. All minerals are designed to balance basic nutrient needs for maximum efficiency. Gain Smart Stocker is designed for those who are feeding a medium to high forage diet and works well for both cool- and warm-season grasses. It is the most versatile of the three and can be fed in multiple places under multiple conditions.
The newest option, Gain Smart Stocker HEAT contains capsaicin to help maintain circulation to support animal performance and gain in both heat and fescue situations. Capsaicin is research-proven to support animals’ ability to maintain normal body temperature. This mineral is ideal in the hot summer months or any time fescue is grazed. It Includes garlic, to deter insects. Ideally suited for backgrounding and yearling cattle on grass.
Gain Smart Wheat is formulated for a higher-quality forage diet rich in protein and nitrogen such as wheat, small grains and legumes. It includes extra magnesium to help balance the nutrients in the diets, and should be fed in spring and early summer.
Gain Smart Balancer RU 1600 is designed for those calves that are being backgrounded or fed in a dry lot situation and fed a mixed grain ration. The Balancer compliments the co-products like distiller’s grain and cereal by products and works well with fermented feed like silage. Unlike the first two minerals it contains no phosphorus but does have Rumensin in it. The Balancer can be fed to heavier weights, and if you want to feed to heavier weights, it is a good selection when trying to improve feed efficiency.
As with any program, be sure to consult with your veterinarian and nutritionist to make sure your calves are on the best protocol to grow and add value. A Gain Smart supplement in their diets will help build immunity, keep calves healthy and keep them growing.