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Last updated on October 25th, 2023 at 02:27 pm

Help your calves handle the stress of weaning time with proper nutrition and supplementation

The most stressful times in a calf’s life are all centered around weaning time. Calves are separated from their mothers, must learn to eat different food, often comingled at a sale barn, hauled on a truck, and must adjust to a new home. And all this happens at a time of the year when the weather is tenuous at best.

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It’s no wonder some get sick. What’s more of a wonder is why all of them don’t get sick.

Improving Immune Response

Whether you’re weaning calves or receiving calves, you can give them the boost they need to not just survive but come out of the most stressful time of their lives healthy and gaining weight.

Of the various management aspects that help keep calves healthy during this time—preconditioning, vaccinating, or deworming to name a few—nutrition is perhaps the most important. Indeed, a proper plane of nutrition is the key element on a robust immune response and weight gain in weaned calves. Fortifying the pre- and post-weaning diet with vitamins and minerals can contribute to improved immune response and reduced post-weaning sickness.

One of the most effective ways to ensure stressed calves are getting the nutrition they need is with the Riomax® stress tubs. In fact, they might more accurately be called anti-stress tubs.


For calves to get the nutrition they need, they first must eat.

One of the stress responses in newly weaned calves is a reduced appetite. The Riomax® PG360™ stress tubs contain digestion stimulators that include prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, FungiFuel™, and yeast. These components work together to feed the good bugs in the rumen.

RELATED: How does FungiFuel™ work like a nutcracker?

It’s the rumen microflora that digests the food a calf eats. By stimulating the microflora to do what it does best stimulates appetite and the forage the calf eats is broken down more effectively, allowing the calf to get the best from what it eats.


Another aspect of the formulation is vitamins A, D, and E, important nutrients in helping calves overcome stress. Then, the final aspect of the PG360™ tubs are the minerals. Mineral intake is at the top of the list of nutrients that are essential for proper immune function.

The minerals in PG360™ include copper, manganese, zinc, and selenium. They are chelated or organic forms, the most digestible and absorbable forms of mineral compounds.

For grass-fed beef producers, Riomax® offers Prograss360®, known at Grass-Master360™ in Canada. The ultra-concentrated link tubs are approved by the American Grassfed Association and are designed specifically for grassfed operations with no hormones, antibiotics, animal by-products, grain and grain by-products, or urea.

Because PG360™ and Prograss360® are highly concentrated, they have low consumption rates—between 1/8 and 1/3 of a pound per head per day. This keeps costs in check.

RELATED: Low Consumption Cattle Mineral Tubs: Do They Work?

Another Riomax® product that helps get calves off to a great start are the ComboCubes. These contain all the ingredients found in the stress tubs in a form that calves will readily consume. So, whether it’s the PG360™ anti-stress tubs or ComboCubes, you’re giving calves the ammo they need to combat disease challenges, comingling stress, diet transition stress, as well as possible weather challenges.

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