About Agspand’s Feedchar™
How Agspand’s Feedchar™ might work for animals
At certain times of the year, particularly from spring through to autumn, high nitrate 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 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. The shoots and flowers of endophyte-affected ryegrass in particular contain high levels of the Lolitrem B mycotoxin. Horse paddocks can be covered in 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 (early spring and autumn), and also in the seed-heads in summer.
Mycotoxins are compounds in the fungi that interfere with an animal’s digestive wellbeing. 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 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.
When added as a feed supplement, Agspand’s Feedchar™ helps animals deal with plant toxins and pathogens. Animals should show less physical discomfort and stress from plant toxicity. Testimonials from clients providing Feedchar to horses describe a marked improvement in their animals’ behaviour after two weeks, and a general improvement in condition after four weeks.
Feedchar is mostly quality Australian-made charcoal, with a small percentage of mineralised clay. Both of these ingredients are natural toxin binders and digestive aids that animals source for themselves in the wild. The elemental breakdowns of charcoal and clay are freely available online.
Recommendations on Agspand’s Feedchar™
Small amounts of Agspand’s Feedchar™ can be mixed in with animals’ normal feed. Some suggestions are described below, although providing less is possible.
Otherwise, many animals will self-medicate (feed themselves) if some Feedchar is simply made available in a separate container where they normally eat or drink. Allow for rainwater to drain from the container if it is left outside. Suggest raising the container off the ground to deter animals from standing in it.
DO NOT FEED this supplement to animals experiencing/who have experienced constipation.
DO NOT FEED this supplement to animals taking veterinary medication. When worming, do not supplement the day before, the day of worming, and the day after worming (i.e. cease supplementation for three days).
Mix 2 scoops (30 mL) of Agspand’s Feedchar™ with one feed per day, as needed. If supplied once a day, this equates to around 1 litre per horse per month. Feedchar may be used with other vitamins and minerals.
PONIES and FOALS
Mix up to 1 scoop (15 mL) of Agspand’s Feedchar™ with one feed per day, as needed.
CATTLE, SHEEP and OTHER LIVESTOCK
For a small-to-medium herd/flock in a shared area of up to 40 animals, simply spread 10 litres of Agspand’s Feedchar™ in a closed-ended trough or large container. Like horses, they too will nibble and lick the Feedchar to self-medicate as they need it.
Continuous benefits of Agspand’s Feedchar™ in agriculture
There is a flow-on effect to a Feedchar as a remedy for feed-toxicity in the digestive tracts of animals.
Once excreted and in contact with soil, the animals’ manure containing the charcoal and other nutrients is utilised by dung beetles and worms, who act as natural soil-carbon sequestration armies! Observations are that over time, soil moisture and pasture growth improves.