How to Benefit your Cow Herd Year-round with High-quality Nutrition

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Good nutrition doesn’t just matter during peak times of year like gestation and lactation. To optimize health and overall value of your herd, keeping them on a high-quality nutrition program year-round will benefit them and you as the producer. 

“A year-round, high-quality, highly available mineral source can do a lot of good for a cow herd. The mineral status of a cow has an impact on a lot of different aspects of their metabolism. Everything from maintenance to development to growth and lactation all the way through reproduction and body condition score is impacted by mineral status of the cow,” said Jack Oattes, BioZyme® Inc. Regional Business Manager. 

Oattes suggests that a supplement line that offers a variety of formulations to meet a variety of management challenges, geographies and opportunities while optimizing the value of a producer’s available feedstuffs would be the most practical option. A product like that exists in the VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® line.  

VitaFerm Concept•Aid is available in 12 free-choice formulas and two 200-pound cooked tub formulas. However, all products have the following same traits: formulation at 2.5 times the NRC requirement for quicker impact, high levels of Vitamin E as an antioxidant to aid in reproductive tract repair, and organic trace minerals for more stability and higher bioavailability to the animal. They all also contain the prebiotic Amaferm®, designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying nutrient supply for maximum performance. Amaferm is research-proven to increase the energy available to the animal resulting in more milk production as well as to the ability to initiate and maintain pregnancy and fertility. 

Originally branded as a breeding mineral to help increase conception rates, which it does, VitaFerm Concept•Aid is ideal to feed year-round, especially with new formulas with the HEAT® package, as producers don’t have to decide when to swap out VitaFerm Concept•Aid for the VitaFerm HEAT mineral. Now, they can just start feeding VitaFerm Concept•Aid HEAT any time the temperatures consistently reach 70 degrees or warmer or anytime they are grazing fescue pastures. 

Other VitaFerm Concept•Aid mineral formulas include those with various levels of phosphorus, formulas with CTC to control Anaplasmosis (available with a VFD), formulas with ClariFly® (available in registered states), formulas with MOS, as well as elevated levels of Magnesium and Protein for various management practices and environmental scenarios. A complete list of products is available online: https://vitaferm.com/product-categories/concept-aid-products/

In addition to keeping your herd cows in optimal health, the Concept•Aid minerals will help get cows bred back faster, increase conception rates, increase milk leading to growthier calves. The Amaferm will help your herd utilize, digest and absorb nutrients more efficiently.  

“The benefits of Amaferm are available in all products that BioZyme offers, a precision-based prebiotic that has an impact on intake, digestibility and nutrient absorption as well, and really does optimize cattle’s health and performance. So, it’s important to keep in mind when implementing the Concept•Aid program that you’re getting more than strictly a mineral product, but also the benefits of Amaferm as well,” Oattes said. 

JD Georg manages the Alder’s ranch at Midway, Texas and believes in the Amaferm advantage when converting poor quality grasses into pounds. He’s been feeding the VitaFerm Concept•Aid nearly seven years in an area that is copper deficient. He has also noticed since feeding it, his black cows are now black instead of having a red/brown tint to them. 

“We believe in making that cow take that poor quality forage and turn it into beef, into milk while raising those calves. Our grass is not that good, but we have a lot of it. That is where the Amaferm in the VitaFerm® comes into play. I truly believe the Amaferm helps those cows with that process,” Georg said. 

He went on to say while the reproductive benefits are important, the quality of the supplement is what leads him to feeding it on the ranch that includes about 1,800 mother cows.  

“It’s not only a breed-back mineral for us, for which it does a tremendous job. We have conception rates anywhere from 90-95% with the Concept•Aid. Overall, the quality is better than any other mineral. That’s one thing I would hang my hat on as far as VitaFerm is concerned, the ingredients they use for VitaFerm are better and more easily absorbed than any other. You can compare tags, but you don’t get the same outcome. The hair coat is a testimony by itself,” Georg said. 

Oattes reminds producers that it is also important to keep your bulls on a quality mineral program as well.  

“The bull is the other half of the reproductive equation, and so many overlook the fact that their nutritional status going into breeding season is critical to them to performing their job effectively. It really is imperative that they receive appropriate mineral supplementation as well to improve their chances for reproductive success,” Oattes said. 

Your herd nutrition matters. As a producer you expect your cows and bulls to perform to their highest potential. They deserve the optimum nutrition to be able to produce to their maximum ability. Provide that high-quality mineral status with products in the VitaFerm Concept•Aid line.  

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