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Benefits of Using Medicated Feed Additives


Beginning January 1, 2017: This product will require a veterinary feed directive issued by a licensed veterinarian and will be subject to the following restriction: “Caution: Federal law restricts medicated feed containing this veterinary feed directive (VFD) drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.” This product will no longer be approved for the indications of: increased rate of weight gain and improved feed efficiency which means the use of this product for these purposes will no longer be legal after that date.

Are you looking to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to feeding your cattle? Medicated feed additives (MFAs) can improve rate of gain, feed efficiency and help maintain a healthy herd. Although feed additives make up a small amount of the dry matter your cattle consumes daily, they can be your pathway to profit.

MFAs are most commonly divided into three categories: antibacterials, ionophores and feed through fly controls. Whether you manage a cow-calf, stocker or finishing operation, MFAs should be considered when developing your nutrition program. When feeding across classes, modify use rates based on total body size.

Antibacterials

Are you trying to prevent or treat disease within your herd? If so, consider adding an antibiotic to your ration.  "Antibacterial additives attack or disrupt the life cycle of target bacteria that negatively affect body tissues preventing them from reproducing," explains Mike Peacock, Southern States Livestock Feed Sales and Marketing Manager. "Generally speaking if your herd is still eating, it is more economical to deliver antibiotics via feed, rather having to catch and restrain your cattle for individual doses of medication."

The most commonly used antibacterials are Aureomycin (chlortetracycline), Terramycin (oxytetracycline) and Aureo S 700 (chlortetracycline and sulfamethazine). These additives can help treat and prevent diseases and conditions like coccidiosis, scours, foot rot, liver abscesses, shipping fever, and anaplasmosis. When dealing with an infectious disease, consult with your veterinarian to determine which antibiotic is appropriate for the ailment.

Ionophores

Are you are looking to improve feed efficiency or control coccidiosis among your growing herd? Ionophores are rumen fermentation modifiers that prevent the development of certain strains of Gastro Intestinal bacteria, thus allowing more beneficial bacteria to increase in population. The net result is a 5-7% increase in feed efficiency and improved growth rate.

In addition to improving gain, ionophores can reduce acidosis, bloat and coccidiosis. Bovatec and Rumensin are typically the ionophore additives of choice. Ionophores not only improve herd health, they can help your bottom line. "For a cost of 1.6 cents a day (at maximum use rate), you will generate 36 cents a day in added cattle growth," notes Peacock.

Feed Through Fly Control

Feed through larvacides can help rid your facility of horn flies and other manure laying pests. When fed continuously through fly season, Clarify and Altosid IGR can stop the fly life cycle. Both additives work by preventing larvae from developing in the larvacide treated manure left by your herd.

Choosing the Right MFA

There are many choices when it comes to adding a MFA to your ration. Contact your local Southern States Livestock Specialist or visit your local Southern States store today, and we can help you develop a plan that meets the needs of your herd.

Important Note: MFAs are controlled by the Food and Drug Administration, therefore you are responsible for ensuring they are used properly. You must: use the feed additive for its intended purpose, follow the feeding guidelines and any warning statement(s) on the label, and observe any withdrawal time when necessary.


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