As a nutritionist, you know the importance of Rumensin in increasing overall energy yield from feed and improving animal performance. And, you’re aware of some of the potential consequences if—for some reason—Rumensin isn’t present at all or isn’t present at the level you recommend.
Enter Microtracers—small stainless-steel particles coated with food-grade dye and added to Rumensin at low levels so that the presence or absence of Rumensin can be confirmed by feed mills that supply quality feed products to the producer. Microtracers are added in very small amounts and have no impact on feeds, animals or the environment.
Benefits of Microtracers
It’s important for feed providers to determine whether or not Rumensin is actually in the feed they deliver, especially if there’s a question or concern regarding product use. “Microtracers provide a very quick means to determine whether or not Rumensin has been included in the feed,” says Gary Fuller, marketing consultant, Elanco Animal Health. “It can also provide an estimate of the level that is present.”
A Microtracer reading isn’t as precise as a laboratory assay, which can determine the precise number of grams per ton or milligrams per pound of Rumensin present, says Fuller. However, Microtracers will provide a ballpark estimate and provide it more quickly than a lab test can, which can be particularly beneficial if a product-use issue arises. “If there was a mixing error at the feed mill and too much or too little Rumensin was included, that would be known in a matter of minutes rather than having to wait a week for a lab test to come back,” Fuller notes, enabling any necessary action to be quickly taken.
Another benefit of Microtracers is the confidence and trust that can be built throughout the feed manufacturing and delivery system, from the nutritionist who’s formulating the feed to the feed mill that’s mixing the feed to the producer who’s feeding their cattle.
Microtracers can also be used to confirm that Rumensin has been eliminated from mixing equipment after use, thereby ensuring there is no carryover into a new batch of non-cattle feed, such as horse feed. Ionophores can be toxic to horses, so the elimination of cross-contamination is very important.
Microtracers in Rumensin
Rumensin 90 from Elanco is the only monensin product in the United States that contains Microtracers and it provides a host of benefits to both feed manufacturers and cattle producers.
For dairy operations, Rumensin is the first FDA-approved feed ingredient for lactating and dry cows that increases milk production efficiency*1—more energy per pound of feed for a return on investment of at least 5:1.2
Rumensin is also a cost-effective feed additive for beef cattle that improves feed efficiency by providing more energy from the ration.3 Research demonstrates that Rumensin improves feed efficiency and provides a net return of $23.13/hd for feedlot cattle.4 For the prevention and control of coccidiosis, Rumensin kills coccidiosis parasites at three different stages in the life cycle instead of merely slowing their development.5
Elanco support expands Microtracers’ benefits
Using Rumensin with Microtracers helps build the confidence of feed mill staff that they are using and mixing the product correctly, says Vinton Smith, executive sales representative, Elanco.
“Microtracers are a useful tool,” says Smith, “but the tools and support that Elanco provides around the use, mixing and feeding of Rumensin is even more important. In turn, Microtracers help feed mills build confidence in their quality protocols and safety validations, gives them confidence that Rumensin is being added at the right levels and is being used where it’s supposed to be used in the mill and not where it shouldn’t be. This helps assure nutritionists that their feed is being mixed correctly and consistently so that they be confident with feed mills and the feed that is delivered to their customers.”
Tests that show the levels of Microtracers in Rumensin can be conducted at the feed mill or on the farm in 5 minutes. In order to facilitate accurate testing of Rumensin in feed products, Elanco provides these resources to test for the presence of Microtracers:
- Mason Jar and Rotary Detector kits and supplies
- Step-by-step guidelines to conducting tests
- Videos demonstrating testing procedures
- Mixer test analysis spreadsheet
- App that reads test results instantly (available on iPhone and Android)
“Training on Microtracer protocols is part of the service and support that Elanco provides to ensure that Rumensin is being used correctly and consistently and is being mixed thoroughly throughout a batch of feed,” says Smith. “As a result, nutritionists can fully expect that Rumensin will be as efficacious as it is intended to be.”
Your Elanco sales representative or technical consultant can provide you with more information about Microtracers and how they can be used to ensure that the amount of Rumensin you recommend for various operations is accurate, mixed appropriately and delivering nutrition to your customers’ cattle in a way that meets your expectations.
*Production of marketable solids-corrected milk per unit of feed intake.
The label contains complete use information, including cautions and warnings. Always read, understand and follow the label and use directions.
CAUTION: Consumption by unapproved species or feeding undiluted may be toxic or fatal. Do not feed to veal calves.
For Dairy Cows: For increased milk production efficiency (production of marketable solids-corrected milk per unit of feed intake)
Total Mixed Rations ("complete feed"): Feed continuously to dry and lactating dairy cows a total mixed ration (“complete feed”) containing 11 to 22 g/ton monensin on a 100% dry matter basis.
Component Feeding Systems (including top dress): Feed continuously to dry and lactating cows a Type C Medicated Feed containing 11 to 400 g/ton monensin. The Type C Medicated Feed must be fed in a minimum of 1 pound of feed per cow per day to provide 185 to 660 mg/head/day monensin to lactating cows or 115 to 410 mg/head/day monensin to dry cows. This provides cows with similar amounts of monensin they would receive by consuming total mixed rations containing 11 to 22 g/ton monensin on a 100% dry matter basis.
Growing beef steers and heifers fed in confinement for slaughter
For improved feed efficiency: Feed 5 to 40 g/ton of monensin (90% DM basis) continuously in a complete feed to provide 50 to 480 mg/hd/d.
For the prevention and control of coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii: Feed 10 to 40 g/ton of monensin (90% DM basis) continuously to provide 0.14 to 0.42 mg/lb of body weight/d, depending upon severity of challenge, up to a maximum of 480 mg/hd/d.
Growing beef steers and heifers on pasture (stocker, feeder and slaughter) or in dry lot, and replacement beef and dairy heifers
For increased rate of weight gain: Feed 50 to 200 mg/hd/d of monensin in at least 1.00 lb of Type C medicated feed. Or, after the 5th day, feed 400 mg/hd/d every other day in 2.0 lbs of Type C medicated feed. The Type C medicated feed must contain 15 to 400 g/ton of monensin (90% DM basis). Do not self feed.
For the prevention and control of coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii: Feed at a rate to provide 0.14 to 0.42 mg/lb of body weight/d, depending upon severity of challenge, up to a maximum of 200 mg/hd/d. The Type C medicated feed must contain 15 to 400 g/ton of monensin (90% DM basis).
Type C free-choice medicated feeds: Approved supplements must provide not less than 50 nor more than 200 mg/hd/d of monensin.
For improved feed efficiency when receiving supplemental feed: Feed continuously at a rate of 50 to 200 mg/hd/d. Cows on pasture or in drylot must receive a minimum of 1.0 lb of Type C medicated feed/hd/d. Do not self feed.
For the prevention and control of coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii: Feed at a rate of 0.14 to 0.42 mg/lb of body weight/d, depending upon severity of challenge, up to a maximum of 200 mg/hd/d.
1Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.
2NADA 095-735, Elanco Animal Health.
3Richardson L, Raun A, Potter E, et al. Effect of monensin on rumen fermentation in vitro and in vivo. J Anim Sci. 1976;43:657-664.
4Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.
5McDougald L. Chemotherapy of coccidiosis. In: Long PL, editor. The Biology of the Coccidia. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press;1980:373-427.
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