The mess of stress: Tips to bolster your herd’s immunity

  • To boost immunity, analyze your operation’s stress points and use technologies like Bio-Mos in the ration before cattle face a challenge.
Doctoring calves is never easy. Doctoring lots of calves is a nightmare. For producers, nothing takes more time or creates more stress than seeing sick cattle. So how do you get ahead of the problem and address herd health and immunity before it's too late?
In a recent webinar, Dr. Kate Jacques, Alltech’s director of nutrition, shared how to bolster herd immunity and increase profitability.

Key tips for bolstering your herd’s immunity


Identify stress points

When it comes to boosting immunity, “Stress is the enemy,” said Dr. Jacques. Scours, respiratory issues or decreases in dry matter intake are all indicators that cattle may be stressed.
The first thing to do is identify the source of stress. Common stress points include:  
  • Weaning
  • New pens, chutes or feed bunks
  • Movement through marketing channels
  • Shipment – both to pasture and feedlot
  • Diet changes
Keeping cattle healthy and maximizing growth means getting them through a number of crunch points before finish. Rethinking how to best handle these stressors is a continual process, but it is critically important to do so to keep immunity high.

Boost gut health through nutrition

Feeding some form of starch, fiber, protein and mineral is typical in most rations, but realizing the opportunity other nutrient forms can play shouldn’t be overlooked. 
Bio-Mos® provides a new perspective on carbohydrate nutrition. Bio-Mos is in a unique class of functional feed ingredients able to play a positive role in gut health.
“If you can reduce challenges to the intestine, you can promote a healthy gut, and that’s exactly what Bio-Mos does," said Dr. Jacques.
For over 20 years, Bio-Mos has been Alltech’s trademark technology. Studied in more than 733 research trials, it has been proven to aid nutrient uptake while also binding potentially harmful gut bacteria to drive growth and performance at all stages of production.

Put a plan in place; Act on it

At the end of the day, there’s a tension between knowing something is a best practice for your operation and actually doing it.
Dr. Jacques stressed that producers need to be strategic and that waiting to spot a problem means that profits have already been lost. To best boost immunity, analyze your operation’s potential stress points and use technologies like Bio-Mos in the ration before a gut health or immunity challenge. 
Trust that with proper management and nutrition, profits will follow. Like thousands of others across, producers such as Clifton Goff of B-Gee Angus in Nebraska have seen the benefits of having a plan and using Bio-Mos. He explains that by using Bio-Mos they’ve, “got a healthy herd of calves running, and I haven’t dealt with anything respiratory.”
By being proactive, you can fight a mess of stress in your operation and boost your herd’s immunity. To learn more about how Bio-Mos might benefit your beef cattle, visit or contact

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