Animal nutrition in the summer: learn how to overcome the main challenges of the season
Check out ICC Brazil’s tips to maintain high performance and animal welfare in the face of summertime conditions
With the coming of the hot season, temperatures rise, and rainfall increases. These and many other factors of the summer directly influence agribusiness, from planting the ingredients used for food to the animals’ performance and welfare. In this content, we have gathered tips that will make a difference in the nutritional management of productions this season. Check it out!
First off, we need to remember that summer favors the development of pastures, which are then intensively used in raising, rearing, fattening, and milk production. However, as explained here, even with good pasture quality in this season, in many cases, it is not enough to supply the nutrients necessary for the high performance of the herd. Therefore, it is essential to preserve the nutritional supplementation of cattle in the rainy period according to the performance goals.
Embrapa’s publication “Nutrição de Bovinos de Corte – Fundamentos e Aplicações” explains that “the most important moment to be concerned with mineral supplementation is the rainy period, so that it is possible to extract to the maximum gain potential of the pasture that could be otherwise limited by some mineral deficiency. The sodium and other salts present in large quantities in water can reduce the mineral mixture’s consumption, thus compromising the balanced intake of minerals”.
High-production dairy cows still face the challenge of thermal stress, which is much more intense in the tropical summer. According to the “Safe Management” series, cows under a stressed state present a higher maintenance requirement due to the higher respiratory rate required for heat dissipation. And while reducing the consumption of dry matter, protein, and the energy consumption is also reduced. The intense respiratory rate can lead to alkalosis, in which there is a loss of bicarbonate via urine, sodium, and potassium through sweat, reducing the ruminal buffering capacity. In addition to providing shading and air conditioning at the facilities, the farmer must ensure access to fresh, good-quality water. The herd and nutritional balance’s proper mineralization.
In poultry and pig farming, in addition to maintaining balanced nutrition with high-quality ingredients, it is worth reinforcing hydration care, as high temperatures can increase animal mortality rates and interfere with productivity rates.
In “Água na Avicultura: importância, qualidade e exigências”, another publication shared by Embrapa, it is shown that: “when compared to the grains and bran used in animal feed, water can still be considered a cheap nutrient, with stable composition and abundant availability, and yet its importance is ignored”. This is why water is called the “Forgotten Nutrient”.
Water is considered the most important nutrient for poultry, and its consumption is directly affected by the ambient temperature and relative humidity, with the temperature being the main factor. Under normal conditions of temperature or thermal comfort, the ratio of water consumption to food consumption is around 2:1. However, at elevated temperatures, this ratio will increase. It is estimated that for each 1 ºC above average, the increase in consumption is around 7% – but it is worth mentioning that there is a variation for each growth phase. Therefore, it is crucial to provide poultry with free access to clean, fresh, high-quality, and contamination-free water to achieve successful breeding.
For pigs, water consumption is also an essential factor, especially in the summer, requiring proper nutritional and handling care, as shared by the “Industrial Pig Industry” portal. In addition to providing free access to quality water, just like in poultry, there is a concern related to weight loss and cleaning in pig farming, leading to episodes of food congestion and stress, thus impairing productivity.
Summer is also characterized as when pigs consume less energy, allowing producers to provide fewer energy ingredients in the feed. This factor, added to the adequate water supply, makes the breeding show good productivity levels.
Maintain animal performance in the summer with ICC Brazil’s solutions
ICC Brazil has a complete portfolio of solutions that contribute to overcoming the challenges of animal production, including those that come with summer arrival.
The flavoring energetic additive RuMel®, for example, stimulates the consumption of the diet by cattle. In contrast, the additive RumenYeast® acts in the control of acidosis, improves ruminal digestion and gut health, thus providing more excellent performance and animal welfare.
Material ilustrado pautado em dados de experimentos científicos (in vivo), produzido por doutores na área de nutrição animal.
For poultry farming challenges, the most suitable solution is ImmunoWall®, which directly stimulates the innate immune system through β-glucans and agglutinating pathogenic bacteria through MOS. The results are reflected in the improvement of gut integrity, reduced infections, and increased welfare, showing a positive impact on poultry productivity.
In pig farming, it is possible to overcome summer conditions with Hilyses®, with its free nucleotides and nucleosides, which can help in moments that require intense cell multiplication, such as periods of stress, initial growth phases, lactation, and other challenges imposed by the field.
To learn more about all ICC Brazil solutions that help maintain animal performance in the summer, visit: http://www.iccbrazil.com/linha-produtos/.
Cattle feed management. Proceedings of the 9th Cattle Nutrition Symposium. FEALQ. 2011
Posted in 10 December of 2020