As backgrounders and feeders start getting in their stocker calves, it is important for them to have a plan in place to help grow those cattle in a healthy, efficient manner. The VitaFerm® Gain Smart® Stocker Program is one such program dedicated to growing cattle in three easy steps.
The day those calves come off their mothers and are weaned, is the day they can start the Gain Smart Program.
The Gain Smart Program is built around the Amaferm® advantage. Amaferm is a natural prebiotic designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed. Amaferm will help increase the animals’ feed and water intake, increase digestibility, and increase absorption of nutrients.
The initial step in the Gain Smart Program happens on the first day the calf is weaned or the day it is processed when being received by a feeder. Use the Vita Charge® Cattle Drench on that first day to help make sure calves get to the bunk and want to eat and drink readily early on.
Next, introduce the Vita Charge Stress Tub to the calves for 2-3 weeks after they are first received. 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.
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 that can be removed once the calves have a healthy eating routine established.
There are four mineral options: Gain Smart Stocker, Gain Smart Stocker HEAT, Gain Smart Wheat and Gain Smart Balancer RU 1600. All four 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. New this spring, Gain Smart Stocker is also available in a formula with HEAT to help minimize heat stress on calves through the hot, humid summer months by naturally regulating internal body temperature and helping with fly control.
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 also 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.
The return on investment in feeding the Gain Smart Program will be in the Amaferm advantage. Research has shown that during an 84-day growing period that Amaferm has increased feed efficiency by 6-percent.
As with any program, feeders and stockers should consult with their veterinarian and nutritionist to make sure their calves are on the best protocol to grow and add value. A Gain Smart supplement in their diets will help build immunity, keep your calves healthy and keep them growing.