YOUNG BREEDING RUMINANTS
SECURING THE GROWTH
Essential to their health, the immunity acquires itself by taking colostrum, and then builts itself during the first months of life, in contact with pathogens.
The passive immunity of colostrum strengthens the animal against neonatal diarrhea of bacterial, parasitic or viral origin. However, it falls rapidly, while the acquired immunity of animals will be effective after several weeks or months. This period often coincides with changes in environment (allotement ...), or following weaning: the sensitivity of animals to health problems (digestive and respiratory) remains high. For example, coccidiosis (a parasitic disease caused by a protozoan of the genus "eimeria") develops in the intestine of ruminants and causes the destruction of epithelial cells, or even intestinal lesions and inflammations. As a result, absorption of nutrients and aqueous exchanges in the large intestine are reduced.
They can be more important among young ruminants (association of bacterial, viral and mycoplasma pathogens). Despite of the low mortality associated, the morbidity and loss of performance cause many losses, often undervalued.
The economic cost of the health problems of calves (cost of treatment, use of labor force, loss of genetics in case of mortality, loss of growth) is major and underlines the importance of acting upstream (sanitary conditions, welfare, feed ration...).
Supporting the intake of the young ruminants, through adapted feeding, allows to improve the growth, but above all to support the immune acquisition of animals and to participate in their defense against the many pathogens detrimental to their present and future performance.
FATTENING OF RUMINANTS
The production of beef meat presents multiple models: fattening calves, bull, heifers, or culled cattle.
Even if each one presents its specificities, two elements are essential:
- ensuring a quality of the meats, in particular through the absence of antibiotic residues;
- ensuring the sustainability of the fattening workshop (breeders incomes, food and energy efficiency).
During the fattening, the optimization of performances (Feed conversion Ratio, Daily Weight Gain) should increase breeders’ incomes, but also limit the resources (kg of feed/kg of carcass).
On ruminants, rumen fermentations transform feed ration and fibers to energy (VFA) and microbial proteins, however to fatten ruminant rich and concentrated ration, usually used, have high-speed fermentations and this may lead in:
- problems of acidose;
- an under-valuation of the protein (degradation of dietary amino acids).
An action on the rumen gut flora can reduce these troubles associated.
The metabolism of the animal, and mainly the liver system, will transform nutrients for muscle growth. Thus, the metabolism functioning (protein turnover, stress responses, metabolic yields):
- explain more than 35% of feed efficiency losses in beef;
- is optimized with an adapted micro-nutrition and a strengthening of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-stress condition.