The past few years have produced several challenges to beef production with drought, poor pasture conditions, high hay and feed prices. Management decisions must be made to stretch available forage and explore options to supplement deficiencies due to drought to maintain animal performance and health.
Feeding the Rumen
The rumen is an amazing digestive structure that converts forage material into high quality protein and energy by microbial fermentation. However, during drought conditions or when feeding mature or poor-quality roughage, digestion in the rumen is slowed and intake is reduced unless supplemented with more digestible carbohydrates.
Feed intake is affected and dependent on the rate feeds can be digested, in other words, the rate of passage through the rumen, i.e., as the rumen empties, more feed can be consumed, more nutrients are digested and become available for production needs.
Rumen Function and Feed Efficiency
Maintaining good rumen function refers to keeping the fiber digesting microflora at an optimum level to digest the feed and convert it to usable energy. When feed prices are high and forage quality is low, maintaining feed efficiency becomes one of the most important goals for profitability and performance of the beef animal.
When the rumen is functioning at its best, forage will be utilized more fully which improves efficiency, reduces feed costs, and improves growth and performance. Excell™, a lactobacillus fermentation product from Pacer Technology is a good choice to help maintain feed efficiency, animal performance and health.
· High population of rumen microflora
· Increased number of fiber digesting bacteria
· Maximum appetite and feed intake
· Maintains optimum feed efficiency and energy utilization
· Increased roughage digestibility and nutrient uptake
Research Documents the Value of Excell™
Two trials at the University of Idaho compared Excell™ to the ionophores, Monensin and Lasalocid. Figure 2. shows Excell™ fed calves gained .23 lbs. more per day than Monensin with equal feed efficiency.
Figure 2. Monensin Study
Excell™ impacts rumen function in several positive ways which contributes to the performance improvement over Monensin.
First, Excell™ supports an optimum population of rumen microflora that digest the feed components yielding microbial protein, amino acids, and volatile fatty acids (VFA) which are the major energy sources for the animal. This mode of action of Excell™ is responsible for the higher VFA production compared to Monensin.
Secondly, Excell™ supports fiber digesters, as opposed to Monensin which inhibits fiber digestors in the rumen. Although Monensin increases propionate, the reduction of fiber suppresses the volatile fatty acids produced by fiber fermentation especially on pasture and high fiber growing rations.
Figure 3. Lasalocid Trial
Figure 3. Compares Excell™ to Lasalocid on steers and heifers on grass pasture. Excell™ fed steers gained .11 lbs. more per day and heifers gained .17 lbs. more per day than Lasalocid.
Creep Feed Study Figure 4. Creep Feed Trial
Figure 4. shows creep fed calves at the University of Georgia, had an increased average daily gain of .57 lbs. per day for Excell™ calves fed 5 grams per head per day.
Over the 63 day trial Excell™ fed calves were 35.9 lbs heavier than the control.
Support the Growth and Function of Fiber-Digesting Microorganisms
Cattle and calves on poor-quality forage can benefit from feeding Excell™ by supporting the fiber digesting rumen microflora for optimum efficiency.
Excell™ Generates More Available Energy
Excell™, an all-natural lactobacillus fermentation product contains prebiotic and bioactive metabolytes produced during the fermentation process which supports the microbial populations of the rumen and intestine. When the rumen microflora population is optimum, cattle are more efficient in their digestion and adsorption of essential nutrients for gain and performance.
In vitro studies conducted at the University of Georgia indicate Excell™ fed at 5 grams per head per day produced more total VFA than Monensin.
Figure 5. Total VFA Energy (mM of VFA Based on Energy Efficiency)
Figure 5. shows that Excell™ produced more total available energy by increasing of all VFA’s 4.5 mM or 5.9% more than Monensin. The improved rumen function and increased VFA production provides the additional energy for the improved performance of Excell™ compared to the ionophores Lasalocid and Monensin.
Summary: Excell™ Produces More Total Volatile Fatty Acids than Monensin
· Excell™ produced 4.53 mM more total VFA than Monensin; (59.55 compared to 55.02)
· The additional VFA from Excell™ produced 5.9 % more equivalent energy; (46.85 mM compared to 44.2 mM for Monensin)
· Excell™ supports fiber digesting bacteria in the rumen which are needed for efficient forage and roughage digestion.
· Excell™ can replace Monensin and Lasalocid in rations with equal to superior results.
Include Excell™ in your feeding program for gaining digestion efficiency from drought stricken and expensive feed stuffs. Excell™ is available in liquid and dry crumble or pelleted form and can be added to liquid supplements, blocks, minerals, and dry feeds.
Providing Valuable Nutrients for Crops and Livestock