Calving season surprises: Are you prepared?

When unpredictable conditions arise, eubiotics deliver rapid support to beef calves in need.

Fluctuating weather. Muddy, wet conditions. Long days and short nights. Sound like your calving season? You’re already handling a lot, so when surprises hit and your calves need extra care, you want to be prepared. Eubiotics are a great way to deliver rapid support to beef calves after birth and during times of environmental stress.

Beef calf

“Calving season surprises, like a calf that doesn’t get off to a strong start or a dam not mothering up, often call for additional calf support,” says David Mathes, director of sales and marketing at DBC Ag Products. “Eubiotics can help support digestive health and immune function in beef calves.”

But what are eubiotics? How do they work? Here’s an overview:

 What are eubiotics?

Eubiotics are often described as a class of innovative natural ingredients including probiotics, prebiotics, essential oils and organic acids. They help provide a healthy balance of microbiota in a calf’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract, supporting digestive health and a functioning immune system. Eubiotics can be helpful for animals of any age.

How do eubiotics work?

Eubiotics can come in many forms and are most often delivered to calves via feed, drenches, boluses, gel or paste. Paste forms allow for more convenient anytime, anywhere administration.

“Eubiotics, paired with other novel feed ingredients, work together to create a broad-based calf health package,” says Mathes. “These ingredients support beef calf health and the immune system to help protect your investment and long-term profitability.”

Here’s how common ingredients in eubiotics work:

  • Probiotics deliver viable microorganisms to help maintain a natural population balance of probiotic microorganisms in the GI tract and support digestive health.
  • Prebiotics provide a food source for naturally occurring microorganisms in the gut to help maintain proper flora and support digestion.
  • Organic acids help provide nutritional support for the digestive tract mucosal lining for a healthy, active GI tract microbiome.
  • Essential oils offer flavoring for appetite, while supporting gut health and digestive function.

Other novel feed ingredients, like egg proteins, specialized whey proteins, MOS (mannan-oligosaccharides) and vitamins can help support a healthy gut. Each ingredient brings something important to the table to help beef calves maintain normal.

When is the best time to use eubiotics?

Including eubiotics as part of your routine tagging or processing protocols is a great way to support beef calves early on and help maintain normal GI health. About 70% of the immune system resides in or around the digestive tract – that’s why maintaining normal digestive health from birth is crucial for long-term health.

“By starting calves strong, you’re building a healthy foundation for lifetime productivity,” says Mathes. “Calves that maintain normal digestive health tend to have healthy immune systems, helping them grow fast and reach their genetic potential.”

Eubiotics can also be used later when beef calves need additional support while they’re on pasture or during transitions like weaning. Look for a complete eubiotics package in a paste tube for easy transport and administration when you’re checking the herd.

Can eubiotics work alongside antibiotics?

Eubiotics are becoming more widely used in livestock rations, especially as more prudent use of feed-grade antibiotics is promoted and regulated.

“Using eubiotics as a tool to support maintaining normal and when beef calves need rapid support will continue playing an important role as we see antibiotic use protocols change,” says Mathes.

Learn more about Last Stand®, a total eubiotics package.