South Africa

Health Care

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STRIP GRAZING - THE ROLE OF SUPPLEMENTING A DIGESTIVE MODIFIER TO OPTIMIZE ANIMAL PERFORMANCE

Strip grazing essentially involves the abnormal increase in stocking density, on a relatively small area, for a relatively short period of time (with long rest periods between uses).

Strip grazing is accompanied by:

  • Increased management inputs and infrastructure (electric fences, water supply etc.)
  • Adaptation of animals in such a system (selection NB)
  • The utilization of all (as much as possible) plant material (non-selective grazing): 
    • Increased total production per hectare (kg meat / ha)
    • Lower individual animal performance
  • Increased stress levels due to competition between animals for:
    • Available grazing
    • Lick supplementation troughs
  • Pressure on immunity
  • Pressure on reproduction

A tool that can play a major role in addressing the optimal utilization of grazing, is the supplementation of a digestive modifier.

The use of a digestive modifier. 

  • Aims to:

    • Ensure optimal digestion of plant material
    • Neutralize harmful anti-nutrients
    • Optimize availability and utilization of nutrients 
    • Support body condition
  • Why necessary:
    The following factors have a negative effect on digestion and utilization:
     
    • Utilization of plant material that will not be regularly selected
      • Animals are forced to graze less palatable and less digestible plant material
    • Physiological growth stage of grass
      • If the grass has made seed, it translocates nutrients to the roots and the fibre content of the leaves and stems increases drastically. It becomes more difficult to digest, resulting in a slower rate of passage through the digestive system and reduced availability of nutrients
    • Presence of anti-nutrients - which can limit the utilization of nutrients and cause damage to the rumen e.g. 
      • tannins, 
      • terpenes and 
      • resins
    • Suboptimal rumen microbial population - caused by the factors mentioned above. Rumen microbes play a major role in the process of digestion. It is therefore a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped and Browse Plus can help alleviate the negative effect of the above mentioned factors.
  • When does supplementation works the best:
    Under all unfavorable conditions, which impacts the utilization of grazing e.g.

    • Green season - when very poor / less palatable grazing must be utilized
    • Transitional season (from green to dry grazing) - when the fiber content of grass increases so that it complicates digestion
    • Dry season - when plants are physiologically mature or dead after frost and the digestibility is reduced
    • Transition season (from dry to green season) - until sufficient new green pasture is available
    • Utilization of low quality crop residues
    • During backgrounding /  feedlot induction
    • When the dung of animals become hard and dark in color (Figure 1)


Figure 1. Notice the difference in dung -  below, right needs Browse Plus!

  • What to supplement:
    Browse Plus -   

    • contains 4 active ingredients in a fine powder form (Figure 2), that optimizes solubility,
    • can be supplemented through 
      • water or 
      • mixed into licks
    • at a dose rate of 2 - 4 g / animal / day (depending on species and quality of grazing)
    • safe to use in cattle, sheep, goats and wildlife
    • zero milk and meat withdrawal


Figure 2. Product A is Browse Plus - see difference in appearance / fineness vs other products             

 

SUMMARY

Supplement Browse Plus to:

  • Improve digestion and optimize nutrient utilization
  • Support body condition (limit weight loss)
  • Ensure better animal performance

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