South Africa

Health Care

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"Dry season" nutrition for livestock - "DON'T FORGET"

Our memories play tricks and it is the reason for the often repeated words “Don’t Forget!”  To the stockman at this time of the year it could be:  “Don’t forget to order the feed, the vaccines and other production inputs needed for the winter.  Don’t forget to check the water supply, without which you will not need the other inputs anyway! “

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It is appropriate, especially at this time of the year to repeat: “Don’t forget!” - Don’t forget what you ask?  Don’t forget to order the product that helps your livestock to maximize the use of the nutrients which remain in the environment at the end of the season. Don’t forget the product that supports an active digestive system when food in the environment is declining in both quality and quantity. Don’t forget the product that prevents the potential loss of protein through the action of anti-nutrients in forage.  Don’t forget the tried and tested product that has brought distinct benefits to livestock in South Africa for over a decade.

Have you remembered? It is called BROWSE PLUS!  Our memories need refreshing from time to time so let me refresh your memory on what you can expect from BROWSE PLUS.

In most farming environments, both quality and quantity of forage decline as the rainy season comes to an end.  The grass becomes mature, dries up and its protein content declines sharply to about 2% to 5%.  Despite this, it is still important that livestock graze this grass not only because it has some nutrients, but also because it provides important roughage for the digestive system and is the cheapest source of roughage. However, dry grass is unpalatable and contains low levels of protein, which is vital in maintaining a healthy microbe population in the rumen.  Microbes decrease markedly in this sort of situation and the whole digestive process slows down as a result.  It is made worse by the fact that animals will resort to browsing in order to make up their nutrient deficit.  While most browse material is rich in protein, it also contains tannins which bond with both plant and feed proteins and deprive animals of this valuable nutrient. Tannins also kill off rumen microbes and can even result in toxicity. Tannins also “lock-up” micro nutrients such as zinc and copper, causing deficiencies which have serious results.

Do you remember now that BROWSE PLUS can overcome these problems and provide a positive benefit? It has a pronounced effect on boosting the microbe population by supplying them with much needed nutrients to multiply while at the same time halting the destructive effect of tannins on these microbes. It will also prevent protein binding by the tannins, prevents the loss of micronutrients such as zinc and copper as well as prevent possible toxicity caused by injurious hydrolysable tannins.

At the end of the season you will be glad that you “Did not Forget” to use BROWSE PLUS to utilize all available plant material optimally and to reduce weight loss during this unfavourable period.


Contact your Virbac Technical Advisor for recommendation of products for your farm needs

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