From surviving to thriving A closer look at how the new product FerAppease® can help cattle mitigate stress, while benefiting health, weight gain, and well-being
Published on Tue, 06/27/2023 - 1:25pm
From Surviving to Thriving: A Closer Look at How the New Product FerAppease® Can Help Cattle Mitigate Stress, while Benefiting Health, Weight Gain, and Well-being
By Rodrigo C. Bicalho, DVM, PhD - Fera Diagnostics and Biologicals Corporation
What is FerAppease? FerAppease’s active ingredient is a synthetic analogue of the Maternal Bovine Appeasing Substance (MBAS). MBAS is naturally secreted by the sebaceous gland located on the skin of the bovine’s mammary gland. Its unique function induces an appeasing effect on nursing offspring.
Research shows FerAppease minimizes the animal’s perception of danger, allowing it to feel safe and more comfortable during routine management procedures and relocation. FerAppease is successfully used to help animals transition through challenging and stressful periods.
How does it work? The active ingredient, MBAS, enters a gland in the animal’s nose. This reduces stress reactions by the brain’s hypothalamus and amygdala. This then decreases the perception of threat, decreases fear and the consquences of stress.
When should use of FerAppease be considered?
Any time an animal is going to come under stress. An application helps suppress threat perception (or fear because food animals are prey animals).
In beef cattle scenarios
Calves: branding, castration, dehorning, vaccination, weaning, transporting
Stockers/feeders: commingling, feedlot arrival, transporting
Cows/heifers: artificial breeding and parturition
How is FerAppease applied? FerAppease is for use only in healthy cattle by topical administration to the nuchal skin (poll) and the skin above the muzzle.
For all animals -200 pounds: Apply 5mL of FerAppease to the nuchal skin and a second 5mL application to the skin above the muzzle.
How long before it takes effect?
Behavior modulation and stress mitigation starts to take place immediately after the product is applied. For weaned calves, bellowing and walking the fence is minimized.
What is the duration of each application?
FerAppease is effective for a period of 14 days. Most economically relevant, stressful events have a duration of less than 14 days. Therefore, a single application will get the animals through the entire challenge period.
In calf ranch scenarios, recommended FerAppease use is on day 1, at dehorning/castration around day 21, at weaning around day 60, and immediately before calves are moved out of hutches.
How has using FerAppease at weaning improved health of calves?
Several randomized studies have been performed, and unequivocally the benefits reveal:
Increased live weight 45–55 days post- weaning = 20–35 additional pounds
Decreased BRD morbidity = 20–45 percent
Decreased mortality = 50 percent
The ROI of implementing FerAppease as part of a pre- conditioned weaning program is 20-32.3
Can FerAppease be used at calving to encourage the bonding process, especially in dams resisting or unwilling to claim calves?
Using FerAppease both on the calf and the cow shortly after calving will unequivocally improve the bond between cow and calf since this is, indeed, why nature designed MBAS.