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Posted: 08/18/2022

Calf Stressed After Weaning? FerAppease Can Help.

Animal handling is stressful, especially on calves. Weaning is at the top of that list and the process can lead calves to cry, lose weight and get sick. When these things happen, it also inflicts stress on the humans managing their care, not to mention the bottom line.

FerAppease Maternal Bovine Appeasing Substance (MBAS) delivers the same comfort to calves that they had with their mother and reduces stress for a more successful operation – including a 20:1 return on investment! There's a reason it's featured in National Cattlemen, Hoard’s Dairyman and Progressive Dairy. Learn more about how to get quieter, calmer calves with FerAppease.

Dairy calves laying on the ground

Why Calf Weaning is Stressful

Calves experience two major stressors during weaning: social separation from their mothers and moving to new environments. A 2015 Canadian producer survey from the Western Beef Development Center found that 70% of respondents wean by separating calves from the cows. Even if it’s a more gradual change, calves must develop new skills for feeding and watering while also acclimating themselves to new surroundings. This process is stressful because until it happens, they can rely on their mothers for direction and food. Additional stress comes from loud and/or new noises at their new location, as well as an increased presence of humans on weaning day (especially if they aren’t used to seeing many people in the pens).

The calves perceive these situations as threats in the environment. That causes them to release cortisol and other stress hormones from the adrenal glands which ultimately leads to elevated inflammation, decreased dry matter intake, weight loss, and increased morbidity and mortality.

Close up of dairy calf nose

How FerAppease Works

While some stress-mitigation strategies like two-stage and fenceline weaning can help, they are weather-dependent and may require extra staff. FerAppease is the first and ONLY technology that mitigates stress in farm animals. The active ingredient, Maternal Bovine Appeasing Substance (MBAS), is a natural secretion produced by nursing cows that decreases threat perception and provides a sense of comfort to calves.
When applied to the nose and poll of the head, the calves breathe in the MBAS and it desensitizes areas of the brain (the amygdala and hypothalamus) to reduce the release of stress hormones. Translation: you get calmer, happier cattle with fewer cases of morbidity and mortality.

The data speaks for itself:
  • Multiple university studies showed that MBAS application at weaning is a profitable way to calm calves, resulting in 36 pounds more live weight 45 days post-weaning.
  • Dairy calves who were treated with FerAppease at birth and every 14 days until weaning had less diarrhea and mortality, showed improved recovery after bovine respiratory disease treatment, and gained more weight than calves who weren’t treated.
  • Dairy cows that were treated produced more milk compared to those who weren’t.

Calf being trasnported in trailer

What Else Besides Weaning?

FerAppease gives calves the comfort of being with their mom, but it’s not just for weaning. There are multiple other uses to reduce stress for both calves and other cattle during handling, which improves the safety of handlers, too.

Use FerAppease to mitigate stress for calves during:
  • Dehorning
  • Branding
  • Transportation
  • Vaccination

Is FerAppease for adult cattle, too?

Yes! Use FerAppease on adult cattle during stressful events such as:
  • Calving
  • Drying off
  • Breeding
  • Pen changes
  • Diet change
  • Entering the milking herd
Every time your animals are exposed to management and physiological stressors, turn to FerAppease. One bottle treats 30 adult cattle or 60 young stock.

Comfort Those Calves. Get FerAppease.

Get healthier, more productive cattle, with FerAppease Maternal Bovine Appeasing Substance from PBS Animal Health. If you’re a first-time buyer, enter promo code FERAGUN at checkout to receive a FREE dosing gun!

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