Feeding Monensin decreases consumption however will increase effectivity

This yr we’re all looking for options that may get our cows via the winter on the least feed and hay, with out reducing the long-term productiveness of the herd. Even in “regular” years, feed and pasture is near 70% of variable prices and 50% of complete prices of sustaining a cowherd. Financial analysis has proven that prime revenue producers had 39% decrease feed and pasture value than low revenue producers. So, practices that lower feed prices with out affecting productiveness have potential to enhance profitability.

Ionophores are a category of antibiotics that shift rumen microbial populations to extend energetic effectivity and scale back manufacturing of waste molecules reminiscent of methane. The ionophore monensin was accredited for utilized in substitute beef and dairy heifers in 1983 and for beef cows in 1988, however there doesn’t look like widespread adoption of its use within the cow-calf trade. The approval for feeding monensin to beef cows signifies that monensin needs to be fed repeatedly at a charge of fifty to 200 mg/head/day in a minimal of 1 pound of medicated feed/head/day and isn’t to be self-fed.

A group of researchers led by Dr. David Lalman from Oklahoma State College compiled the outcomes of 26 experiments from 21 publications evaluating the results of monensin supplementation on efficiency and replica of mature beef cows. This was printed within the journal Translational Animal Science final summer season and is freely obtainable at https://doi.org/10.1093/tas/txac086.

Key findings for mature cows had been:

  • Body weight and physique situation rating modifications weren’t affected by feeding monensin.
  • Monensin considerably decreased forage consumption by 7.8%.
  • Milk manufacturing was elevated by 5.4% in a small information set of experiments.
  • Monensin additionally decreased the times to estrus post-calving by 18 days and elevated the variety of cows displaying estrus earlier than breeding by 19%.
  • Calculated energetics from feed consumption and efficiency information present feeding monensin will increase dietary vitality by 4.7%.

This helps utilizing monensin to assist push skinny cattle to start out biking earlier than breeding that may in any other case be late breeders or open. In present circumstances, with limiting forage assets and excessive feed prices the 8% discount in feed consumption by mature cows is a significant consideration in utilizing monensin whereas supplementing cows this winter.  The mixture of decreased feed consumption, elevated milk manufacturing, and earlier estrus exercise has the potential to have long-term constructive impacts on cowherd effectivity. We are going to have a look at the outcomes from the evaluation of together with monensin in diets for growing substitute heifers in a future article.