How Agspand’s Feedchar® might assist animals
At certain times of the year, particularly spring, autumn and winter, elevated nitrate and carbohydrate levels and endophytes or fungi containing mycotoxins commonly appear on and in grasses. These can also linger for a number of years in hay and grain-based feeds harvested off high-nitrate and high-endophyte plants.
Mycotoxins are compounds in the fungi that interfere with an animal’s digestive wellbeing and condition. They can affect an animal’s nervous system and make them agitated, flighty, and sensitive around the abdomen. In severe cases, mycotoxicity can contribute towards laminitis, skin itch and allergies, weight loss, scours and reproductive disorders.
Ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep experiencing plant toxicity show signs of ill-thrift and scouring. This affects their weight gain and creates stress for the animals, with the possible knock-on effects of dark-cutting meat and poor growth rates.
Recent research on Finishing Steers by Matthew Reynolds and Kim Stanford et al. (2023) showed that the effects on the cattle of Ergot mycotoxin in their feed, was decreased DMI (dry matter intake) and ADG (average daily gain), decreased total shrunk body weight gain, final body weight and carcass weight, and decreased number of AAA graded carcasses (DOI:10.1093/jas/skad281.159).
Mycotoxins are found in endophytic fungi, which live in the plants, as well as saprophytic fungi, living on the plants. Endophytes are a plant’s means of self-protection against insect attack or animal overgrazing. Concentrations of endophytic fungi appear on the head of the plant when it is stressed from lack of moisture, or when the soil nitrogen is high.
Endophytes typically occur in phalaris, tall fescue grasses and perennial ryegrass. High-acid soils and overgrazing can lead to excess flatweeds, high nitrate accumulators. Horse paddocks can be covered in all these plants because often they have been overgrazed for years and receive little attention. In their battle for survival the remaining plants’ defence is to contain high levels of endophytes at the base-sheath of the plant in its new stages of growth (early spring and autumn), and also on the seed-heads in summer.
Supplementing Agspand’s Feedchar®, along with a quality diverse diet and movement, might assist animals with plant toxins and pathogens. Animals may show less physical discomfort and stress from plant potency and toxicity. Testimonials from clients describe how Agspand’s Feedchar has supported their animals’ gut health, behaviour, body condition and immunity, as well as long-term healthy soil and pasture outcomes, which also benefits animal health.
Agspand’s Feedchar® is Australian feed-quality plant charcoal with a percentage of certified mineral clay, which contains a range of safe trace elements in small amounts such as magnesium, calcium, silicon, potassium, and sodium. Both feed-safe organic charcoal and natural mineral clay are gut balancers and toxin binders that animals source for themselves in the wild to assist with plant potencies and plant-toxin effects. The elemental breakdowns of charcoal and clay are freely available online.
Agspand’s Feedchar is an Australian Registered Trademark product in Australia and a Certified Allowed Input for Organic Farming, number SXC 19091.
How to supply Agspand’s Feedchar® to animals
Small amounts of Agspand’s Feedchar® may be mixed in with all farm animals’ normal, diverse, quality feeds or premix supplements. This includes dogs and pets. Some suggested daily maintenance doses are described below.
Otherwise, most farm animals will eat some Feedchar as a loose lick when left in a separate container near where they normally eat or drink. Suggest covering and raising the container off the ground to deter animals from standing in it.
For any further queries please feel free to contact your local store or agent, or Agspand’s Feedchar consultants on 03 6333 1132.
DO NOT FEED this supplement to animals experiencing constipation. Veterinary medication — ask your vet, who may agree to supply in an alternate feed-time to vet meds. May be added with probiotics. When worming, withhold for three days — the day before worming, the day of, and the day after.
Suggested daily maintenance doses:
Mix 1 to 2 scoops (15–30 mL) of Agspand’s Feedchar® with feed per day. This equates to around 1 litre per horse per month. Ideally use for two months, then maintain onwards. Feedchar may be used with vitamins and more minerals, and may be maintained through all seasonal variations to support long-term gut health and immunity.
DOUBLE Feedchar maintenance dose (i.e. add more) while signs of plant potency or plant toxin effects are obvious.
Consult your Vet if problems persist.
PONIES and FOALS
Mix up to 1 scoop (15 mL) of Agspand’s Feedchar® with feed per day.
Mix 5 mL to 20 mL (1–4 tsp.) of Agspand’s Feedchar® with feed per day, based on weight.
CATTLE, SHEEP, GOATS, PIGS, ALPACAS, CHICKENS, etc.
For a small-to-medium herd/flock in a shared area of up to 40 animals, simply spread 1 to 10 litres of Agspand’s Feedchar® loose lick in a trough, several times a week, as needed. Locate near a water point, and keep dry. Okay to mix with all fresh, quality feeds and other minerals (e.g. salt) as may be needed for animal type, age, and season.
DOGS, CATS and PETS
Sprinkle a Light Peppering of Agspand’s Feedchar® through a quality, diverse daily meal, several times a week.
NOTE: Smaller Product Size for Pets Available — To help supply the small amounts needed for pets, an easy-to-use Shaker Jar is also available that lasts a pet or two for up to a year or more. Find more specific details about Agspand’s PETCHAR® for Pet Animals on its own website, here.
Long term benefits of Agspand’s Feedchar® in agriculture
There is a positive long-term effect to using Agspand’s Feedchar® for regenerative carbon-farming purposes.
Once excreted and in contact with soil, the animals’ manure containing Agspand’s Feedchar mineral–charcoal/high-quality biochar (i.e. stabilised carbon) and other nutrients and carbohydrates (i.e. soluble carbon) is buried by dung beetles and worms, who act as natural soil-carbon sequestration armies!
The soluble carbon in the manure provides food for bacteria, fungi and microfauna to live in the soil, while the stabilised carbon/charcoal/biochar lasts for decades, stimulating electrical activity as well as attracting and holding water plus trace elements in the soil, thereby helping to make these important ingredients available to plant roots.
Contact Agspand for further advice on its certified Feedchar® — supporting healthy animals, soils, pastures and farms.
Agspand’s FEEDCHAR is 100% Australian Certified Allowed Input for organic farming, number SXC 19091.