Detoxifying summer pastures with AusFarm Nutrition Products

Toxicity of stock by weed consumption is a reoccurring issue for graziers with weed control both difficult and costly. Weed control and management is an obvious step towards reducing the risks involved, as is controlling where and when stock graze weed affected pastures. There are however many scenarios where total aversion is difficult and that is where toxin binding agents, such as StockMins-Detox come to the fore and prove their value.
Plant toxins are secondary metabolites that have largely evolved as defensive mechanisms to combat against grazing pressure from animals. There are a vast number of different plant toxins that are of concern for grazing ruminants. Photosensitisation, jaundice, head, jaw and eye swelling and weight loss are all visible signs of plant toxicosis. These symptoms generally stem from a dysfunctional and damaged liver that can have long-term consequences for animal health, production and welfare. The most commonly encountered weeds that cause these concerns in the region are Hairy Panic, Heliotrope, Caltrop, Pattersons curse and Goosefoot.

Bacterial toxins and mycotoxins are also naturally produced secondary metabolites created from certain fungal and bacterial species. There are many different types of mycotoxins and like plant toxins, vary in their toxicity and lethality. Ruminants are less prone to mycotoxicosis compared to non-ruminants, however, their impact to animal health and production should not be understated. Mycotoxins can have a profound effect on the epithelial lining of the gut that can reduce immune function, nutrient absorption and increase the risk of other pathogenic disorders (notably endotoxicosis from lipopolysaccharides).

Binding and neutralising toxins
StockMins-Detox contains a high level of broad-spectrum toxin binders; including Mastersorb®, bentonite, and other specifically targeted binding agents. Mastersorb® contains a blend of clays, yeast cell walls, essential oils and zinc. The combination of these ingredients actively helps to bind and neutralize both mycotoxins and endotoxins in the gut before they can damage the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore helping to sustain normal nutrient absorption and preventing immune activation caused by these degenerative changes. Bentonite a more widely used binding agent is added for its unique clay properties allowing for additional binding of toxins in the rumen.

In combination with these toxin binders, StockMins-Detox contains added sources of inorganic sulphur and molybdenum. Sulphur is added for its role in the detoxification of prussic acid in vivo to form thiocyanate which can then be excreted in urine. Molybdenum is present to ‘mop up’ excess dietary copper that could otherwise lead to chronic or acute copper poisoning in animals consuming large amounts of toxic alkaloids (hepatotoxins). Damage from the ingestion of hepatotoxins can cause the liver to alter from its normal function thereby accumulating high levels of copper. Under conditions of stress, stored copper can be abruptly released into the blood often resulting in mortality.

Elevating immune response and protecting the liver
Ingestion of various plant toxins, mycotoxins and bacterial toxins will cause the immune system to become depressed further exposing the animal to other pathogenic disorders. The unique blend of antioxidants (vitamins A, D and E and silymarin), minerals and essential trace elements helps to activate and regulate immune response. Notably, silymarin acts pharmacologically as a “hepatoprotectant” and has the ability to directly nullify and prevent the formation of free radicals, maintain optimal redox balance in the cell, decrease inflammatory response and activate the production of protective molecules. The combination of these processes can help protect and repair the liver while simultaneously managing toxic burdens.

Assists in tissue repair
Prevention is the best form of management, however, more often than not the first overt signs of plant toxicosis in livestock is photosensitisation. Common strategies to manage photosensitisation are providing ample shade, moving stock to less offensive paddocks and providing a diluting feed (hay or silage). Nutritional intervention has not been widely considered, until recently, as a viable management strategy but is understated. Specifically, elevating the dietary intake of organic and inorganic minerals such as zinc, phytogens and fat soluble vitamins, particularly vitamin E have shown to assist in the repair of damaged tissue. StockMins-Detox utilises these key ingredients to help repair and limit tissue damage incurred when stock are exposed to toxic weeds.
StockMins-Detox is the first product of its kind available for grazing animals and can reduce the effects of toxins in three distinct ways:
• Protecting against the absorption of a variety of harmful toxins in weeds
• Stimulates and supports normal liver function
• Assists with tissue recovery and repair.

For more information about the product, please contact one of the team at AusFarm Nutrition Products or refer to our StockMins-Detox product summary.