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Calf scours is an enteric disease complex that initially occurs when infectious agents, such as, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. of bacteria, rotavirus and coronavirus, or protozoan parasites such as cryptosporidia and coccidia are commonly shed in fecal matter by the dam or other calves. These pathogens are easily ingested by calves, proliferate, and attack the intestinal epithelium or lining of the calf’s gastrointestinal tract causing inflammation, or enteritis, and subsequently leading to diarrhea.
Phytogenic feed additives have been used in animal nutrition, most familiar in monogastrics, for decades, but more recently are gaining interest for use in ruminant production applications at calving, receiving, and through finishing. Phytogenic feed additives are plant-derived substances including essential oils, herbs, spices, and plant-extracts. According to the literature, plant-derived substances commonly understood to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. There is also evidence of plant-derived substances being associated with digestive and gastrointestinal health and performance in cattle.
Across species, gut health bolstering actions from licorice extract, oregano, and caraway, for example, are perhaps one of the greatest contributions to animal health and performance.
Phytogenic feed additives are most effective when used as part of a nutrition and animal health program, supporting the animals’ health and performance during normal environmental challenges.
For more information on phytogenic feed additives and application please contact one of our Ruminant Account Managers.
21 February 2022
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