About Agspand’s Feedchar™
How Agspand’s Feedchar™ might assist 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™ might assist animals with plant toxins and pathogens. Animals may show less physical discomfort and stress from plant toxicity. Testimonials from clients describe how Agspand’s Feedchar may have assisted their animals’ behaviour and condition.
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™ may be mixed in with animals’ normal feed. Some suggestions are described below, although providing less is possible.
Otherwise, many animals will eat some Feedchar as a loose lick when left in a separate container near 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 feed per day, as needed. This daily amount 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 feed per day, as needed.
Mix 5 mL (1 tsp.) of Agspand’s Feedchar™ with feed per day.
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™ in a closed-ended trough or container. Like horses, these animals too will nibble, peck or lick the Feedchar as they need it.
Continuous benefits of Agspand’s Feedchar™ in agriculture
There is a positive flow-on effect to using Agspand’s Feedchar on farms.
Once excreted and in contact with soil, animals’ manure containing the charcoal and other nutrients is utilised by dung beetles and worms, who act as natural soil-carbon sequestration armies!