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Resolving Inflammation Saves Nutrients to Enable Cattle to Reach Their Genetic Potentials

Larry Roth, Ph.D., PAS - Vice President of Nutrition, Agrarian Solutions

Inflammation and its effects on cattle productivity and reproduction has become a frequent research topic and popular press subject, and rightly so. Inflammation is a normal and necessary process for the body’s immune system to assist in healing and recovery, such as resolving a bacterial infection in the cow’s mammary gland. Unfortunately, ruminal changes, heat stress, comfort challenges and mycotoxins are extra inflammation loads that may go unresolved with disastrous consequences. The end result is that nutrients are diverted from production and reproduction, draining dollars from financial goals. The Agrarian Solutions product families are designed to help cattle counter inflammation at various periods of their production lives.

The dry period is often considered a rest and relaxation period for the cows. Instead, this is a challenging time with the greatest fetal growth, colostrum quality and quantity being created, and the mammary gland being prepared to launch into milk production. Unintended bodily challenges from moldy feeds, heat stress and overcrowding can result in continual and unresolved nutrient drains to weaken the unborn calf, reduce colostrum production, and reduce the ability of the mammary gland to prepare for lactation.

Then, the cow experiences her most disruptive day of the year: the day she calves. Inflammation opportunities abound:

  • Body fat breakdown to meet energy needs sends signals to activate the immune system.
  • A calcium deficiency prolongs inflammation responses.
  • Failure to shed the placenta and adequately shrink the uterus can result in major uterine infection and metritis.
  • Changes in mammary tissue and a weakened immune system can quickly result in mastitis.
  • Mycotoxins can compromise the intestinal barrier reducing its ability to protect the body from a multitude of pathogens.

Respiratory or digestive tract illnesses in calves also cause inflammation and nutrient diversion, particularly around weaning and transportation. In addition, some vaccinations generate a strong immune response with an inflammatory component.

The Agrarian Solutions products are organized into families to meet calfhood challenges (the CONVERT™ products); aid cattle during off-feed, calving and weaning (BioFresh™ Ca3 and the Microbial Bolus and Gel) and daily production (BioCycle™, DTX and BioCycle Plus™ feed additives). Agrarian’s unique L-form bacteria technology, also known as cell wall-deficient bacteria are a common theme, as well as egg-based specialized proteins and beneficial bacteria are combined in proprietary formulations to counter inflammation during challenging periods or normal conditions.