The multifactorial labyrinth of calf health

Calf health has a considerable effect on the economic sustainability of beef production systems, with greater calf losses and disease prevalence resulting in unnecessary costs to the production system. Calf health is not solely influenced by factors when the calf makes its arrival; however, it is rather a journey that begins at conception, is carried…

Top 10 tips for reproduction (from the 2019 ARSBC conference)

Main photograph by Wikus van der Merwe. The 2019 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) Conference held from 20–21 August in Knoxville, Tennessee in the USA, provided not only applied strategies, but also an inside look at recent research findings. Here are my top 10 takeaways. 1. Know where you’re going and decide how…

The influence of nutrition on inflammation and mitigating its impact

Undernutrition, or lack of feed consumption, results in weight loss and decreased body condition, impacting reproductive performance. Declines in performance will be registered as delayed puberty, and an increase in the postpartum-to-conception interval in cattle and the wean-to-oestrus interval in swine. It may also reduce ovarian cyclicity, which impacts fertility (Figure 1). Low insulin signals…

Optimising immunity for lifetime performance

immunity for lifetime performance

One of the most important resources for a beef farmer is the animal’s immune system. An animal cannot be efficient or productive if its immune system is ineffective, but with a strong immune system, a herd can weather most proverbial storms. That’s why optimising immunity for lifetime performance is so important. Interactions between the immune…

Selenium reduces oxidative stress and improves production

This article by Dr Christof Rapp, a lead researcher in swine nutrition at Zinpro Corporation, first appeared in the November 2019 issue of Essential Feed and explains how selenium reduces oxidative stress and improves production. Livestock and poultry, just like humans, naturally produce toxic substances and reactive oxygen species – small and highly reactive molecules…

Chromium: A window of opportunity

chromium a window of opportunity

Chromium is rapidly gaining momentum among nutritionists as a mineral that gets more interesting the more we understand about it. A relatively new arrival to the mineral scene, chromium has gained wide recognition for its effect on energy metabolism and its commensurate effect alleviating the disadvantages that stress places on our animals. Evidence of multiple…

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