The importance of reducing stress on livestock
Transporting, weaning and inducting livestock can be a stressful time for both the animal and producer. Stress can cause a host of issues such as dehydration, reduced ability of the animal to absorb magnesium, loss of appetite and compromised immune system.
It is common to see issues such as shrinkage and ‘dark cutting’ in meat after a stressful transportation process or over long-haul trips. Stress causes livestock to utilise their muscles glycogen and water stores at a faster rate. Consequently, due to curfews for transporting, animals don’t have enough energy in their diet to replenish glycogen stores quickly. This can then result in shrinkage and ‘dark cutting’ at slaughter.
The importance of magnesium
Magnesium is very important for enzyme function, energy metabolism and how the animal hormonally responds to stress. Feed changes close to transport can adversely affect magnesium availability, pastures high in non-protein nitrogen and potassium will reduce the animal’s ability to absorb magnesium. An animal deficient in magnesium can show signs of aggression, agitation and high muscle tremors, accelerating energy utilisation.
How does Green Cap help lower stress?
Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap is a 3 in 1 supplement containing trace elements and minerals, in particular high levels of magnesium, naturally occurring fulvic acid and amino acids. Fulvic acid is a natural electrolyte that improves absorption, availability and retention of trace elements and minerals, helping replenish muscle stores that have been disturbed during stress periods in the animal. A stressed animal also has higher requirements for energy and protein, by providing natural amino acids through the seagrass and kelp-based product, it’s providing the building blocks for protein to boost processes such as energy metabolism, immune responses and reduce shrinkage.
“As the drought worsened, we were forced to wean calves much earlier than usual. This is where we were very impressed with the Green Cap used in the yards. The weaners settled very quickly and within a day off mum, they were gaining weight.
The Green Cap also had the extra benefit of preparing cattle to be trucked for long distances. Both adult cattle and young weaners travelled much better with minimal weight loss. Upon arriving at their destination, the cattle quickly settled and showed little to no signs of stress or exhaustion from having been on a truck.”
– Roger & Jenny Underwood, Eversleigh & Wallace Vale Droughtmasters, “Pine Hills” Wallumbilla, QLD
Ensure correct application procedures for effectiveness
Using a BLM Dispenser and empty drum, measure the correct dosage of Beachport Liquid Minerals Green Cap into the empty drum, screw on the BLM Dispenser and put into the trough. It meters out over 72 hours so ensure access to water over this period.
- Weaning: Dose into water trough upon entry to yards or weaning paddock.
- Transport: The ideal time to dose is 3 to 7 days prior to trucking. To be dosed no less than 24hrs prior to trucking.
- Feedlots: Dose with BLM Dispenser into water trough upon entry to the feedlot.
- Change of diet: Dose via water or onto feed when there is a major change in feed source (dose rates are the same as weaning.)
- DO NOT treat cattle within 24 hours of transport with BLM Green Cap.
- Leave approximately 1-2L of air in the drums when dispensing product into trough.
- Always use a BLM Dispenser to dilute product out over a three-day period.
- DO NOT pour entire mobs’ worth of BLM Green Cap into a trough without using a dispenser, it may turn cattle off water causing significant stress.
Written by Ashlee Hunt, Technical Services Manager