Water Medication is simply the term for supplementing livestock through the water they drink. The benefits of this method of supplementing cattle and sheep has been clearly demonstrated in controlled trials and with advances in technology, Direct Injection Technologies is able to provide safe and reliable solutions that deliver proven on farm productivity improvements.
The benefits of water medication include;
- Superior spread and accuracy of dose amongst the herd (all livestock drink evenly proportionate to body weight)
- Cost saving. Water medication is generally the cheapest way of supplementing the daily recommended dose of urea
Direct Injection Technologies works with our clients to develop fully customised solutions including
- Dispensers that adjust and work in with your current operation
- Products that can be custom formulated to account for bore water alkalinity and specific pasture deficiency
Why feed Urea?
The nutritional value of all grasses in northern Australia declines following the growing season. As grasses mature and seed their feed value declines. The nutrients in the grass also become less accessible to cattle and sheep as grasses become harder to digest as they mature. As a result of this decline in pasture quality and digestibility cattle lose weight at an increasing rate as the dry season progresses. In a grazing sense, little can be done to improve the digestibility of mature grass however, urea is proven to be an extremely cost-effective method to increase the rate at which digestion occurs. The rate at which digestion occurs in ruminant animals is governed by the number and type of microflora present in the rumen and a large healthy population of microflora results in faster digestion of feed and an added source of microbial protein for the animal. Large increases in numbers of microflora results in faster digestion of dry grass and faster throughput (rate of passage), of feed. Large increases in numbers of desirable microflora results in faster digestion of dry grass and faster throughput (rate of passage), of feed. This means cattle will eat more dry grass. As the rumen microflora pass out of the rumen they are digested providing a valuable source of protein for the animal. Effective urea supplementation can result in an increase in appetite of dry feed of up to 50%.
Why feed Phosphorus?
With approximately 70% of soils in northern Australia phosphorus-deficient, many cattle grazing pastures need an additional source of phosphorus, particularly during the wet season when energy and protein levels are at their peak. Phosphorus is involved in almost every metabolic reaction in ruminants, including:
- formation of bones and teeth, and a structural component of skeletal tissues
- absorption of carbohydrates such as glucose through intestinal tissues
- transport of fatty acids throughout the body
- metabolism of energy
- facilitation of fat, carbohydrate and protein utilization
- improving efficiency of feed utilization
- energy transfer reactions
- normal milk secretion
- buffering of body fluids.
Rumen microflora require phosphorus to digest pasture and a deficiency in the diet suppresses appetite, resulting in rapid reduction in feed intake. As well as this, phosphorus deficiency results in;
- reduced milk production
- bone fragility leading to bone breakages
- Most notably, phosphorus deficiency during late lactation, early pregnancy, calving and growing stock can result in a severe loss of productivity gains