Not All Bugs Are Bad: Let's Talk About DFMs
Written by: Leah Middendorf, Form-A-Feed Nutrition Consultant
What does a bee, the flu, Bugs Bunny, and bacteria all have in common? Bugs! Although often enough, our first impression of a bug is usually something that isn’t favored, but there are also a lot of bugs that can help out our livestock production systems throughout the course of the year.
A DFM is a direct fed microbial, a product that contains live, viable bacteria or yeast. They can be fed to livestock on a daily basis or whenever animals are feeling stress or production challenges.
Feeding DFMs has been shown to improve milk production and components, improve feed efficiencies, increase growth rates, and stimulate the immune system of the animal.
Form-A-Feed has a variety of direct fed microbials and other nutritional supplements that are proven to be stable and effective in all phases of livestock production and are tailored to the farm’s specific needs. Products range from those for everyday use to those that target a specific feeding situation, health event, or environmental stressor.
- Sci-Mic BC and Rumen Yeast Caps Plus are boluses that can be used for animals facing the high stress of calving. These products help improve the rumen and DMI.
- Dairy S.C.O.P.E. and Sci-Mic 40-20 help promote a stable rumen environment and improve fiber digestion.
- If forages are in poor condition, Valles TTD is a product that can help make starches more digestible and helps inhibit pathogens.
- Another one of our popular DFMs is Stealth 5®. This product fed at 1 oz./head can be used every day to help animals with disease challenges. Stealth 5 helps feed the animal with good bugs, boosts the immune system with enhanced selenium, and interferes with pathogens.
- Just like cows, calves can also find the benefit from a DFM. During times of challenged disease, consider using Response-D at a ½ oz. feeding rate. This product can be mixed with milk/milk replacer for the convenience of the farmer and the calf.
- During critical times such as birth, prior to weaning, transport, after antibiotic treatment, during digestive upsets, or environmental stress use Sci-Mic CB, a bolus that helps improve ration digestion and supports intestinal health.
- Another bolus that can be used to boost calves is Calf-Renew w/Stealth 5. This can be fed at 3 days of age, after transport, or after a scour period to help improve overall gut health and inhibit pathogen binding.
Feed your livestock the good bugs that they need to keep efficient and productive. If you need or would like more information about which DFMs to feed your cattle, talk to your Form-A-Feed representative.