UK market entry also may be on the horizon.
“We want to build the North American market first and get producers confident in the technology,” marketing and sales lead, Krisjan Jones, told us. “With that said, we have been fielding inquiries from around the world which has opened our eyes to challenges of different kinds (i.e. heat stress, use in aquaculture). Additionally, we're about to take part in a trial in the UK in both beef cattle and swine, which allows us to broaden our trial database.”
The company originally released DeStress Nutritional Therapy products in Canada, but soon started getting queries from the US, which is Canada’s largest trading partner, he said. Additionally, the expansion made sense because the US has one of the largest livestock markets.
What DeStress does and how
The product reportedly uses electrolytes, energy and amino acids to offer a nutritional therapy that helps mitigate the effects of stress, including shrink and lost carcass quality, on swine and cattle from events like transportation, weaning, handling and regrouping.
While other products look at relieving the symptoms, DeStress attempts to treat stressors before they climax, said Jones.
“Stress has always been a focus for feed additive companies as it leads to a broad range of ailments in livestock,” he said. “If we can understand what causes stress and deliver our products efficiently just before stress reaches its peak, many problems can be avoided.”
DeStress has been tested in both swine and cattle, with the supporting study data suggesting the product may be used to produce a higher quality animal carcass.
One such trial published in the Canadian Journal of Animal Science1, and involving 3,036 head of crossbreed feedlot steers, showed about a $22 improvement in the cost achieved per animal treated with 2kg of DeStress when compared to a similar, but untreated one, after a period of transportation, handling and time in strange surroundings.
The study also found that a steer getting the nutritional supplement earned about $17 more than one getting a placebo meal of 2kg of a pelleted corn-rice hull-based diet.
For the trial’s findings, the price differences were generated by the quality grading of the carcass and the amount of dark firm dry meat or dark cutters.
A more recent Canadian Journal of Animal Science published study - Managing antemortem stress in cattle - looked at treating animals prior to transport with 1kg of product. Results found that a carcass price rose about $30 a head compared to a control group. The difference stemmed primarily from an increase in the hot carcass weight.
Similar responses have been reportedly seen in company research done on use of the product in swine.
“Customers using the product are seeing huge returns from shrink loss and improved grade,” Jones said. “We've been challenged with different modes of feeding and we're currently working on soluble formats that offer flexible feeding solutions for DeStress products.”
1 Source: Canadian Journal of Animal Science
Published online ahead of print: CJAS, 2006, 86(3): 317-323, 10.4141/A05-053
Title: The impact of antemortem nutrition in beef cattle on carcass yield and quality grade
A. L. Schaefer, R. W. Stanley, A. K. W. Tong, P. Dubeski, B. Robinson, J. L. Aalhus, W. M. Robertson