When thinking about feed rations, think about weight gain

Marty Andersen, PhD
Special Contributor

The ration plays a critical role in cattle performance. Feed is important for getting protein, energy, vitamins and minerals into cattle. Maximizing weight gains and efficiency is normally the goal.

Rumensin is known for improving feed efficiency, and BOVATEC is known for not only improving feed efficiency but also weight gains. But what might not be as well-known is the ionophore CATTLYST also improves both feed efficiency and rate of weight gain.

Marty Andersen, PhD

There are several advantages to having an ionophore that increases feed efficiency and weight gain.

Finish cattle faster. The market pricing structure, with lower feeder cattle prices and lower fed cattle prices, is telling cattle feeders to finish cattle faster. Higher feed intake helps get cattle started and finished faster. By including an ionophore that improves feed efficiency and weight gain, you’ll see a higher feed intake with similar feed conversion, which gives you a greater average daily gain (ADG).The data indicates cattle will consume about one additional pound of feed.I’ve had cattle feeders share that they’ve seen feed intake jump as much as one to two pounds.

More pounds of live and carcass weight. More pounds mean more dollars in your pocket. An ionophore in your ration that gives an advantage in ADG can lead to more gains. A pooled statistical analysis of seven feedlot studies published between 2008 and 2010 showed cattle fed CATTLYST with AUREOMYCIN (chlortetracycline) ate 2.8 percent more feed and gained 2.1 percent faster with similar feed conversion when compared with cattle fed Rumensin and Tylan. Carcass weights averaged 8.7 pounds more when feeding CATTLYST and AUREOMYCIN together than when feeding with Rumensin and Tylan.2

Greater return on investment. Regardless of the state of the cattle market, there’s always room to improve return on investment. One way is to evaluate and scrutinize every input going into the feed ration. Challenge your ionophore input to do more than improve feed efficiency. Also, look at convenience while evaluating ionophore inputs. Unlike Rumensin, CATTLYST does not require a step-up program and can be used in combination with AUREOMYCIN.

Flexibility to improve performance and health. AUREOMYCIN in feedlot rations at 350 mg per head per day is approved for control of bacterial pneumonia associated with shipping fever complex caused by Pasteurella spp. susceptible to chlortetracycline. Fed at the rate of 10 mg per pound of body weight per day, it is approved for treatment of bacterial enteritis caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) and bacterial pneumonia caused by Pasteurella multocida organisms susceptible to chlortetracycline. Taking advantage of an ionophore, such as CATTLYST, that is approved for use with a chlortetracycline means you won’t have to remove the ionophore from the ration.* You will continue to get performance advantages from your ionophore that increase weight gain but also have the flexibility of treating and controlling bacterial pneumonia caused by Pasteurella species and treating bacterial enteritis caused byE. coli when needed. You won’t have to make a choice between performance and health.

When it comes to the feed ration, there’s a lot to think about. Feeding equipment, consistency in mixing rations, mixing properly and delivering to cattle at a consistent time are just a few things that are likely on your mind. So as you think about your ionophore choices, consider more than just feed efficiency. Remember the value of added weight gain and the flexibility to use with a brand-name chlortetracycline like AUREOMYCIN.

If you have questions about your ionophore choice, talk with your Zoetis representative or your nutritionist, or visit zoetisUS.com.

Do not allow horses or other equines access to feeds containing CATTLYST. Do not use in animals intended for breeding.

Do not use AUREOMYCIN in calves to be processed for veal.

 Dr. Marty Andersen earned his BS at the University of Wisconsin and his MS and PhD at Oklahoma State University. He has more than 25 years of feed industry experience, working primarily in cattle nutrition. Dr. Andersen is a nutritionist with Beef Strategic Technical Services at Zoetis.