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DeStress boosts animal care and profitability for swine, cattle

Hot on the heels of rising animal welfare pressures, livestock producers and industry in North America and beyond now have expanded access to an innovative new natural solution.

Based on strong response from an initial market introduction phase, DeStress Nutritional Technology, based in Alberta, Canada, has increased its manufacturing and distribution capacity to allow for dramatically broadened availability of its DeStress-Ruminants and DeStress-Swine product lines.

The science foundation underlying DeStress comes from many years of ground breaking research on stress impacts in livestock led by veteran agriculture research scientist Al Schaefer, based in Lacombe, Alta., Canada.

“DeStress is an extensively researched tool that gives producers and industry a new way to support animal welfare while improving economics at the same time,” says Schaefer, Science Lead for DeStress Nutritional Technology. “It’s an excellent fit with the pressures livestock sectors face today.”

DeStress is a pioneering feed supplement product based on the emerging concept of nutritional therapy for livestock, which involves the application of nutrition science to promote health, welfare and peak performance with the animals.

A major focus with DeStress is protecting animals from the damaging effects of stress experienced in a variety of situations, such as transport, handling, regrouping, parturition, weaning and performance.

Nutrition components custom tailored in the bio-based formulations include energy sources, electrolytes and bypass amino acids. Formulations are designed to support, maintain and replenish critical nutritional needs in the face of stress, while also triggering additional positive and “calming” physiological responses such as serotonin release. This guards against costly and often hidden “stress loss” and supports healthy, well cared for, high performing animals.

Studies with both cattle and swine show substantial benefits in live weight retention, carcass weight retention, improved grade index and reduced animal aggression using DeStress. Also, reduction in dark cutters and other stress-related product deficiencies.

Among the latest examples: For cattle, packer trials evaluating post transport treatment show 10% improvement in quality grade with DeStress nutritional therapy. Trials evaluating results of pre-transport treatment show a significant improvement in carcass yield. With swine, research site trials show nearly 60% reduction in live weight loss in market pigs and over 45% reduction in frequency of aggressive acts with use of DeStress nutritional therapy.

“Sports teams have long realized the importance of optimized nutritional strategies to support well being and performance,” says Chance Butterfield, DeStress Nutritional Technology sales representative. “This is an area where we have yet to take full advantage with food animals. But the same principles and advantages apply. DeStress goes a step further with the tailored benefits for stress loss protection and helping animals stay calm. It can really provide ‘the edge’ to get the best results possible, for the animals as well as for the producer, packer and consumer.”

More trial data and commercial results are emerging regularly with expanded use and advancement of the product, says Schaefer. “Across the board we are seeing very positive results. We’re at the forefront of this opportunity and we’re excited to see it continue to expand.” More information on DeStress Nutritional Technology is available at

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