Stay on CUE to Reach Your Cattle Performance Goals
Written by: Heidi Doering Resch, M.S.
Alternative feeding strategy questions are being asked more and more with the upcoming veterinary feed directive (VFD). Finding ways to proactively manage both health and performance alongside proper feed yard management will become even more important. While many producers have already stepped up their yard maintenance to help improve the management effect on cattle health and performance, many are also looking for more ways to ensure these changes will return better profits at the end of the feeding period. One product aimed at helping producers reach this goal is C.U.E, known as Carbohydrate Utilization Efficiency. This direct fed microbial (DFM) contains 7 strains of live bacteria which provide 1.5 billion colony forming units (C.F.U.) per day.
These bacteria strains are taxed with some lofty goals. For instance, they must help support the immune system of the animal through proper digestive support. They must provide certain enzymes to help improve overall digestion and therefore overall performance of the animal. They also must be able to do this regardless of the feedstuffs that are being fed, either in good condition or out of condition feeds. Similarly, if the digestive system is supported, then the immune system should be working at peak performance, allowing for vaccination protocols and other health recommendations to be as effective as possible. That is a pretty lofty goal for bacteria strains that one can’t even see with the naked eye.
The 7 bacterial strains that are found in C.U.E. are geared towards providing digestive enzymes that help support efficient use of feedstuffs ranging from protein, fat and starch digestion. They must help prevent pathogenic bacteria from adhering to the gut wall and causing scours or intestinal disturbances and some of these strains are both antifungal and antimicrobial which is what makes them so important in helping support the animal’s immune system in the face of substandard feed products.
It is important to look at your feedlot operation and do an internal audit. Find out which areas and times of your operation you pull the most treated animals and for what issue. Discuss these with both your nutritionist and your veterinarian (preferably at the same time). Understand that in addition to the managerial changes you are already implementing at your operation, working with the animal’s natural continuous culture environment (its rumen) also can help improve the animal’s overall health and performance.
For more information on CUE, contact your Form-A-Feed representative or call 800-422-3649.