For many spring-calving cow herds across the country, breeding season is just beginning. This means you will want to give your cows every advantage you can to get them bred and keep them bred, especially through the heat of the summer. Progressive cattle producers across the country have learned to rely on the VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® mineral line for added nutrition and increased conception rates. However, with the threat that heat stress poses to maintaining pregnancy, many of those same producers are turning to the VitaFerm HEAT® line to help mitigate the symptoms of heat stress.
“Heat stress can be more detrimental to reproduction than not having that extra little bit of fortification. However, the cattle won’t sacrifice mineral performance because HEAT is still a highly fortified, high-quality premium product with the plant extracts that can counteract the heat stress or grazing fescue with high endophyte presence, where Concept•Aid can’t,” said Lindsey Grimes-Hall, BioZyme® Inc. Nutrition and Field Sales Support.
Heat stress will start making an impact on your herd when temperatures are continuously 70-degrees through both the day and evening. And though that might seem like a pleasant temperature for most humans, for cattle, especially those with black hides and hair that quickly absorb the sunlight, 70 is just hot enough to start adding stress to their bodies.
“The benefits of HEAT mineral are similar to Concept•Aid, but in a different way. When the animals are not heat-stressed, they can allocate more nutrients to putting on pounds, more energy toward milk production, and stay healthier because they aren’t spending energy to cool themselves,” Grimes-Hall said. “Producers should see better utilization of their pastures and a boost in overall performance.”
Grimes-Hall said for most of the country, producers will likely start making the transition to VitaFerm HEAT in early to mid-May and keep their cows on it through September or October, depending on the year. Producers in the South will likely already have their cows on HEAT, due to the warmer climates. There is no set transition period, however, cows could take a day or two to acclimate to HEAT due to the smell/flavor from the plant extracts. Once familiarized, they will be back to getting the nutrients they need and the extracts they need to help maintain a lowered body temperature.
Another advantage to feeding VitaFerm HEAT, is your calves will likely consume some of the mineral, receiving some of the benefits.
“It can help calves, and the older they get the more they will imitate their mom. When they see her sticking her head in mineral feeder, they are going to want to do the same thing. HEAT won’t have the exact same effect since they won’t be eating the same quantity as a cow would,” Grimes-Hall said.
Sweet summertime. It’s not far away, and cow-calf producers who know the importance of getting and keeping cows bred will want to make sure their herd gets the best mineral program possible to help mitigate heat stress. That mineral is VitaFerm HEAT with plant extracts and the Amaferm® advantage, research-proven to help animals maintain normal body temperature.