Boosting Animal Health with Beneficial Microbes

Adding microbes to your plants and crops brings on a bounty of benefits, but did you know animals can prosper from these awesome organisms, too? In this article, you'll discover the magical world of beneficial microbes and how they can be a useful tool for so much more than plant power!

Why are Microbes Important?

Research suggests that beneficial microbes are not only helpful for plants, but for all species of animals as well. Whether they are household pets like cats and dogs, or farm animals & livestock such as chickens, pigs, horses, and cows; microbes can help them quickly put on weight, more proficiently digest their food, and withstand infectious organisms that tend to prowl especially wherever animals are kept in close quarters. It has recently been found that microbes can change the population of the gut bacterium by out-competing any “unwelcome guests” or knocking them out completely with antimicrobial substances (how cool is that?!) The good microbes also adhere to the intestinal lining, where they can prevent pathogens from sneaking into the bloodstream. They keep the immune system on alert while tamping down inflammation response, and helping to produce helpful enzymes like amylases and proteases, which help animals to better digest the carbohydrates and proteins in their food.  

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Wind River Balancer R2

Wind River Microbes BalanceR2 is a general-purpose probiotic solution for ALL classes of livestock and pets. This solution is best used as an oral drench, added to watering systems, or top-dressed on feed. This formula provides a massive number of beneficial bacteria that have the ability to recognize pathogens that don’t belong in the microbiome. The goal is to provide a large enough “army” of the good bacteria to increase the immune response until the faulty pathogens are overpopulated and consumed, or through the horizontal gene transfer process, converted to good bacteria.

Balancer2 can be used as both an effective treatment to reduce “sick days” of animals, as well as a preventative measure, in numerous ways such as wound care, ulcers, colicky horses, bloating, unexpected/unexplained weight loss, and GI issues, helps increase feed consumption rates, and through all of these ways can even lead to reduced veterinary costs.


  • May be used on all animals
  • Breaks down food components that aren’t easily digestible
  • Balances microflora in the gut
  • Enzymatic breakdown of carbohydrates
  • Mitigates pathogens like E. Coli, Salmonella and Streptococcus
  • Neutralizes acidosis
  • Increases feed efficiency and conversion
  • Formula contains bacteria, fungi and protozoa necessary for rumen function
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Wind River REboot


Wind River Microbes REboot Formula is an all-natural pathogen inhibitor and growth promotant for livestock specifically designed to combat Rhodococcus in susceptible animals. It helps kill Rhodococcus by exhausting the required food source for the harmful pathogens in horses, goats, sheep, and poultry. These pathogens include but are not limited to Rhodococcus equi, Streptococcus spp., Salmonella spp., and E. Coli. It is also ideal for increasing water and feed consumption by balancing the microorganisms in the digestive and gastrointestinal tracts.

Although REboot is safe for all classes of livestock, we will use horses for the following example. Healthy mares breed healthy foals. In addition to good feed, good gut health is essential to your horse’s health. As the foal transitions from milk to solid foods, making sure that foal gets a good beginning, starts with your mare. Adding REboot to your mare’s food and/or water supply is one way to provide a healthy start to your new foal’s life.

Real Life Results

In 2019, a trial was performed by Leachman Cattle of Colorado using Wind River Microbes to determine the effects of adding Balancer2 to the water supply on average daily gains, derived from feed conversion efficiency.   

Also observed, but not measured, were the overall health of each group as well as water consumption rates. The trial was run for approximately 90 days. The calves were hand-sorted, with an even mix of steers and heifers in each group. There was 74 head in the treated group and 75 head in the control group.  

Feed was weighed each day so that each group had the same ratio per head. The “treated” group gained on average, 2.80 lbs/hd/day versus the “Control” group’s 2.69 lbs/hd/day during the first 56 days. The gain difference is +0.11 lbs/hd/day for the treated group. During the last 30 days, the treated group gained an average of 2.72 lbs/hd/day compared to the control group’s 2.57 lbs/hd/day. Again, there is a positive difference of +0.15 lbs/hd/day in the treated group. To make a long (although intriguing) story short, more efficient microbes could mean healthier, bigger cows that eat less food, and as any rancher will tell you, that extra 15-30 pounds can be the difference between making it or breaking it when it comes to sale day.

Microbes & Cattle

A cow’s microbiome is critical for helping her to grow as a result of the microbes helping to break down the foods she eats, providing her with essential nutrients. Diet and other factors in the animal’s environment can affect how well the microbiome does its job, but farmers and ranchers are constantly learning exactly how this all happens so that production can be the very best it can be. It is through education like this that we can use to help improve the ability to raise healthier, better quality livestock for generations to come. Learning more about microbes can also help us to better care for the environment because they have the ability increase the health of our animals while simultaneously increasing the quality of the crops we grow for their feed. 

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A Healthy Gut = A Healthy Animal

Just as microbes provide a valuable source of health for plants and gardens, you may have been surprised to learn that animals as well, can also gain many advantages from the introduction of microbes to their diet. Much like a Swiss army knife, they are effective for a wide range of situations and have the potential to replace many of the “old school” traditional doctoring methods still used for pets and livestock today, while synchronously having the ability to keep and restore the health of our precious crops.

Wind River SoilCare & BioSoil

Microbes are essential for everything around us to not only live — but thrive. In addition to all the fascinating perks they hold for the animal kingdom, Wind River Microbes is a product that is a useful tool in raising healthy plants for crops, especially for regenerative purposes. Widely used methods such as heavy applications of exogenous fertilizers, growth enhancers, pesticides, and soil sterilization methods such as fumigation can be effective for managing stressors, but newer, more sustainable approaches are needed to further support and improve crop health and performance.

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Wind River SoilCare is a 100% natural mix of 74 species of beneficial microbes — bacteria, archaea, and fungi that plants must have for full health. This proprietary mix of microbes strengthens the ecosystem in soils and other growing media. Plants can’t directly consume most nutrition bound up in soil; they depend on microbes to process it for them, to make nutrients “bioavailable”. Plants team with microbes to defend themselves against pests such as blight, rusts, root rot, and harmful insects, to moderate pH salinity and to improve water retention and soil aeration.

This product can help home and commercial gardeners, landscapers, farmers, and ranchers enhance their soil, plants, and trees with clean, organic growth that is proudly made right here in the USA.


  • Wide array of uses
  • Functions with Horizon O and A soil layers
  • Decomposes organic matter into a rich carbon source
  • Unlocks soil-bound nutrients
  • Dominant in endomycorrhiza but also contains ectomycorrhiza
  • Increases soil water-holding capacity
  • Tolerant of soil disturbance
  • Ability to adapt to any soil due to horizontal gene transfer
  • 100% organic and safe to use on vegetables
  • Improves fertilizer efficiency
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BioSoil is a product is specially formulated for trees, shrubs, and woody plants and is an excellent pathogen inhibitor, antifungal, and growth stimulator. It “chokes out” harmful microorganisms detrimental to plant life, growth, and production including Fusarium spp. It helps reduce the incidence of various fungi, including Verticillium spp. As with other Wind River Microbes soil solutions, BioSoil increases water retention, controls nitrogen fixation, breaks down soil contaminants, balances pH, and increases oxygenation. Fewer fertilizer inputs are required following the first application, thus reducing production costs.


  • Designed for woody plants but may also be sued in other applications
  • Increases water retention & aeration
  • Unlocks soil-bound nutrients
  • Phosphorus-cycling genera includes Bascillus, Pseudomonas,
  • Breaks down organic matter into humus
  • Functions well in topsoil and subsoil
  • Formula is more fungal dominant
  • Rhizobium, Aspergillus, Actinomycetes, arbuscular mycorrhiza
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Stewards of the Land

Most simply, a steward is a person whose job is to manage or look after the land and property of another person. We all have the opportunity to be good stewards whether or not we own land, what’s important to hold dear is that we are all living on the same planet and should do our best to take care of these beautiful natural resources and creatures that share our world.

So how about making a resolution for the environment and for our future generations to come? If you have always wanted to put a field into cover crops but didn’t know much about them, now is the time you can contact your Extension educator or visit your local garden supply store to get some helpful ideas and start planning.

Another simple and great idea: Plant something. Trees, herbs, and vegetables are always great, and nothing beats the satisfaction of growing (and devouring!) the fruits of your labor. I guarantee you will have a smile on your face and feel a glowing sense of fulfillment when your goal is achieved, and you realize you have become a better steward of the land in 2022, and for the future growing seasons ahead.

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Thank you for reading! We hope you look forward to the benefits you will experience using Wind River Microbes. Shop all Wind River Products Today! For large quantities and special agricultural discounts please contact us and speak with one of our awesome sales representatives.

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