South Africa

Health Care

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STRIP GRAZING - THE ROLE OF SUPPLEMENTING TRACE MINERALS 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

Supplementing trace minerals can play a major role in reducing the negative effect of stress and address optimal animal performance under these conditions.

Trace mineral and vitamin supplementation:

Aims to:

  • Relieve negative effects of Stress
  • Optimize Reproduction
  • Optimize Production
  • Improve immunity

Why Necessary:

During conditions of stress and certain critical periods in the production cycle, the formation of Free Radicals or Reactive Oxygen species (ROS) increases (Figure 1). The production of free radicals is a process that occurs naturally on a daily basis in the animal's body. However, the uncontrolled production of free radicals may cause damage to cells within the body of animals.



Figure 1. Formation of harmful free radicals

Luckily, there is a system to counter balance the uncontrolled production and negative consequences of free radicals. This happens through the action of antioxidant enzymes. These enzymes are particularly trace mineral dependent, especially Zinc, Manganese, Copper and Selenium (Figure 2).


Figure 2. Role of trace minerals in free radical neutralization

When there is an imbalance between the formation of free radicals and the functioning of antioxidant enzymes, a condition arises that is called Oxidative Stress. (Its effect can be compared to the process of rusting of iron). During oxidative stress, body cells are damaged. This can lead to the cells' functioning being adversely affected and even lead to disease, cell death and cancer.

When does supplementation works the best:

  • Trace minerals and vitamins are needed on a daily basis in more than 300 enzyme functions. Therefore, a daily oral (lick) supplement is recommended to meet the normal maintenance needs of trace minerals.
  • During times of stress and critical times in the production cycle, the need for trace minerals increases drastically and a proven injectable trace mineral supplement (TOP UP) is recommended in addition to oral supplementation. 
  • With the constant pressure on animals in a strip grazing system, the following supplementation regime is recommended:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    • Cows:
      • 4 weeks before calving
      • 4 weeks before breeding
      • at weaning
    • Bulls:
      • 8 weeks before start of breeding
      • start of breeding (joining)
      • end of breeding season 
    • Calves:
      • at 3 to 4 months of age
      • 4 weeks before/at weaning
    • Heifers/Growing bulls
      • Every 4 months after weaning

Z:\8044 Marketing - Food Production\Packshots\Pack shots 2017\Louisa\JPG\Multimin CR 500 ml.jpgZ:\8044 Marketing - Food Production\Packshots\Pack shots 2017\Louisa\JPG\Multimin Se Cattle, Sheep & Goats 500 ml.jpg

  • What to supplement:
    • The world wide proven Multimin range (contact your Virbac Technical Sales Advisor for advise on the most suitable version) and 

    • ProVit A - synergism between Vit A and Zn as well as Vit E and Se is NB.

 

SUMMARY:

Supplement Multimin and ProVit A before critical times in the production cycle:

  • As a TOP UP over and above oral supplementation
  • To curb the uncontrolled production of free radicals and limit the negative consequences of oxidative stress
  • To optimize reproduction, production and immunity for a more efficient herd in the challenging conditions that comes with strip grazing

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