Ensure Ewes are in Tip Top Condition at Tupping Time

Tupping time marks the start of the farming year all over again, and provides the foundation for a potential profitable lamb crop five months down the line.

 
It is well known that ewe body condition score influences ovulation rate, which therefore has a significant impact on fertility and overall breeding success. The current recommended optimal condition score for hill and lowland ewes is 3.0 and 3.5 respectively, which should be maintained in the first 5 to 6 weeks after
tupping.

 
Maintaining ewe condition after tupping will help them hold to service first time round, which will also help tighten the lambing period which can be music to many farmers’ ears. Not only can this result in a more uniform lamb crop, but it also helps lower disease risk and aids management actions.


The poorer quality grazing typically available at tupping time, means offering an energy dense supplement such as Opti-Lix High Energy is particularly important to help support ewe condition and overall breeding success. The extra high 35% sugar content in Opti-Lix High Energy also provides the rumen bugs with a source of fermentable energy which helps support microbial growth for optimal forage utilisation and dry matter intakes. The hard and sweet nature of the low moisture lick, also gives excellent intake control.

OPTIMISE TUPPING PERFORMANCE AT GRASS WITH OPTI-LIX HIGH ENERGY:
  • 16 ME to help support ewe condition and fertility.
  • 35% sugar to help support better forage digestibility .
  • Low moisture lick for excellent intake control.
  • Complete range of minerals and vitamins, including selenium, cobalt, and iodine to help balance potential deficiencies in grazed grass.
  • Protected zinc to help support hoof health for optimal mating ability.
  • Selenised yeast to help support pregnancy rates.
  • Offer from 2 weeks pre-tupping for 8 weeks.
  • Available in 20kg buckets and 80kg tubs.

New Product – Essential Calcium

Essential Calcium is a fast acting, sustained release bolus for diary cows. For the reduction of the risk of milk fever in dairy cows.

  • Fast Acting – 20 minutes from administration
  • Slow Release – 24 hour cover when part of a 2 bolus programme.

Milk fever occurs at or near the time of calving. It is caused by the onset of milk production resulting in the sudden requirement of calcium for colostrum and milk. This causes levels of calcium in the blood to drop rapidly. If blood calcium levels cannot be maintained at a high enough level, either through mobilisation from the bones or supplied through the
diet, then milk fever can occur.

  • Milk Fever affects 5 to 7 percent of cows in the first one to two days after calving with a further 23 to 39 percent of cows showing signs of sub-clinical hypocalcaemia after calving.
  • Death as a result of milk fever is very rare but contributory animal health problems are a major headache for dairy farmers.
  • Milk Fever causes a reduction in smooth muscle function which, in turn, can result in an increase in displaced abomasums and retained placentas.
Essential Calcium boluses, dissolve within 20 minutes and quickly deliver 43g of calcium to the rumen. Calcium is then released in two forms, calcium chloride and calcium sulphate, which is available over a 24 hour period.

 

What is of critical importance with any supplementary calcium is that it does not interfere with the natural control mechanism. The freshly calved cow will need to access both the supplementary calcium and her own mobilised reserves. Essential Calcium boluses ensure that the control mechanism remains active so that natural body reserves of calcium are available to the animal and that the supplementary calcium from the bolus is available within 20 minutes of application and for up to 24 hours after administration.

Preparing For a Successful Calving Season

The high risk of dry cow disorders and diseases such as milk fever, ketosis, mastitis and
lameness make mineral nutrition in the run up to calving critical to aid in their management, to help ensure a successful calving season.

Not only is a correct balance of calcium and magnesium essential for preventing milk fever, but it also aids strong calving contractions resulting in a quick birth. This is especially important in heifers, thin or fat cows, and where larger calves are more likely, which all increase the likelihood of a difficult calving. Reducing calving difficulties also helps minimise calf mortality, which is also influenced by calf health and vigour at birth.

Nutrition during the pre-calving period also influences fertility post-calving. Copper is
commonly known as the fertility ‘spark-plug’, however lock up from antagonists such as
molybdenum, iron and sulphur commonly found in UK forages can prevent it being effective, highlighting the need to supplement multiple copper sources to minimise the calving to conception period.

How can Opti-Lix Pre-Calver help prepare your cows and heifers for calving?

• Extra high 35% sugars to support feed intakes.
• Optimal ratios of calcium and magnesium to support calving ease.
• Multiple copper sources to help offset any lock-up.
• Ultra-high vitamin E level for where there is a risk of mastitis and retained cleansings, and to support calf health and vigour.
• Protected zinc to aid in the management of mastitis and lameness.
• Nicotinic acid for where there is a risk of ketosis.
• Offer from 6 weeks pre-calving.
• Available in 20kg and 80kg.

Maximising Calf Health and Performance is Crucial for 22 Month Calving

Martin Denholm from Lochdrum Farm, Bonnybridge, in Scotland saw a notable improvement in his calves when he carried out a trial using Fresh Start® Improve
this spring.


Martin rears 120 calves per year and he considers calf health very important to enable optimal growth, particularly in the rearing of his replacement dairy heifers, which he
now consistently calves at between 22 and 23 months.

“The results of the trial convinced me of the benefits of using Fresh Start Improve and I have continued to use the product.”
Martin, milks 120 cows using a robotic system and feeds the calves though an automatic
feeder. The product appealed to him as he strives to maintain and improve calf health
and increase daily live weight gains. Commenting on the results from the trial,
Martin was pleased with the improvements in the calves. “We tried Fresh Start® Improve for a period of 5 weeks and noticed that dry feed intake increased. Subsequently, growth rates improved and calves were noticeably bigger. Overall, they just looked healthier and their coats were shining.”

To find out more about Fresh Start Improve click here.

New Product – Downland Rumen Buffer; Maximising Year-Round Performance

Downland Rumen Buffer is a blend of buffering agents and flavours. It neutralises acidity therefore improving digestion and productivity.

A healthy rumen is the key to achieving optimum animal health and production. Achieving a balanced pH in the rumen by avoiding acid build-up is central to good rumen health and aids digestion.

Many types of diet can cause excess rumen acid build-up. When the pH of the rumen falls to less than 5.5 (normal is 6.5 to 7) this can lead to acidosis. Risk factors for acidosis are diets with a lack of structural fibre, wet/acidic silages, lush grazing, or high concentrate/high cereal diets. Acidosis can cause reduced intakes, reduced milk yields/milk solids, lower weight gain in beef cattle and hoof problems. Excess rumen acid should be neutralised or buffered to protect performance.

Downland Rumen Buffer offers:

  • A combination of several different buffering agents to ensure maximum and consistent buffering capacity.
  • The best buffering capacity – gram for gram.
  • Downland Rumen Buffer outperforms the buffering capacity of its competitors.
  • An appetising buffer; thanks to the added flavour, Downland Rumen Buffer improves intake when wet, unpalatable silages are an issue.

 

Optimise Tupping Performace

The main aim at tupping time is to maximise ovulation rates and conception, which impacts on the number of lambs sold per ewe which has a direct effect on profitability.

 
There are many options available when deciding on nutrition of the flock at tupping time. Depending on grass growth conditions, it can be relatively easy to provide them with plenty of fresh grass to produce a flushing effect to maximise ovulation rates and conception.

In this case, a mineral and vitamin top up may be all that’s required to help optimise fertility at this critical time of the production cycle.

 
Typical UK pasture levels of cobalt are lacking in order to meet sheep requirements, which can result in lower ovulation rates and egg quality. In addition, cobalt deficiency in the first half of pregnancy can reduce lamb vigour at birth and increase its susceptibility to disease.

 
Embryo survival can also be affected by the supply of selenium and vitamin E, and zinc plays an important role in hoof condition and conception. Besides minerals and vitamins, the supply of omega-3 fatty acids has also been shown to support ovulation and potential pregnancy rates.

How can Downland Pre-Tupping help support performance at tupping?
• Complete package of minerals and vitamins to support overall tupping performance.
• Excellent cobalt levels to help support ewe fertility and lamb vitality.
• Selenised yeast and ultra-high vitamin E to support pregnancy establishment.
• Fish oil as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
• Protected zinc to help support hoof health where there is a risk of lameness.
• Extra vitamin B12 ideal for where cobalt may be deffcient in grazing.
• Feed from 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after the tups are introduced.
• Pack sizes 25kg/100kg

Keeping Cattle Performance at Grass on Top Form

It is estimated that grazed grass costs 5-6p/kg DM eaten, compared to concentrates which can cost over three times this amount. Therefore, maximising utilisation of this cheapest feed on farm is key to reducing variable costs for a profitable cattle enterprise.

 
However, as the grazing season progresses, the digestibility and energy content of grass starts to decline as it enters the reproductive period. Additionally, whilst the protein content in grazing may still be above 20% moving into autumn, the majority of this will be rumen degradable.

 
Free-access licks are the ideal supplement for grazing cattle. Not only do they help support forage digestibility, but they have also been proven to stimulate dry matter intakes by up to 10%. Placement of licks across the grazing area can also help encourage greater utilisation of available grazing.

HOW CAN DOWNLAND CATTLE BALANCER HELP SUPPORT CATTLE
PERFORMANCE AT GRASS?

 

• 12.4MJ of ME to help keep cattle fit into the autumn as grass quality declines.

 

• 15% all natural protein, from quality sources, to help complement the type of protein found in grazed grass to help support dairy, beef and youngstock performance.

 

• Complete range of minerals and vitamins, including selenium, cobalt, and iodine to help balance potential deficiencies in grazed grass.

 

• Protected zinc to help support good hoof and skin health, as well as protected copper to help support fertility in breeding cows and heifers.

 

• Available in 25kg buckets and 100kg tubs.

 

*Competition Time!*

Win a Quality Mineral Thermos Mug!

To win 1 of 5 Quality Mineral mugs, simply visit our Facebook page, comment win, like and share the post.

Competition closes at 5pm, Friday 21st July with the winners chosen at random and announced Monday 24th July. Good Luck!

Andrew Maskery Associates

Downland are delighted to announce the appointment of a new retailer in East Anglia, Andrew Maskery Associates, who will be distributing Downland products to farms throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

Andrew Maskery Associates are an established supplier to farms and rural communities across East Anglia with a reputation for great advice and support alongside their existing product range. Andrew Maskery Associates believe the addition of the extensive and quality Downland range will enable them to expand further into the animal health market. All Downland retailers are supported by experienced, highly trained, professional sales advisors including Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP’s) who are qualified to advise on and prescribe POM-VPS Veterinary Medicines who are committed to offering best advice.

Managing Director Andrew Maskery commented ‘As our business continues to grow, developing into new product areas are a key part of our ongoing plans. We believe Downland can help us to make a real difference to farmers, in terms of providing a superior level of service, advice and product benefits.’

Andrew Maskery will be celebrating joining Downland at the forthcoming Royal Norfolk Show on the 28th & 29th June. There will be members of their team on hand to offer help and advice on the new Downland ranges – make sure you pop by their stand 347, Avenue 11 to find out more.

For further information or advice please contact Andrew Maskery Associates:Unit 21, Saxtead Business Centre, Saxtead, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 9RDE: 01728 685235sales@andrewmaskery.co.uk W: www.andrewmaskery.co.uk.

Buzz Off – Repel Flies and Biting Insects

Getting the best out of summer grazing to keep stock growing on target, can be a perennial problem for livestock farmers.

Grazed grass is your most cost effective feed input providing important nutrients to livestock, however it is well known that it can be deficient in many of the micro-nutrients essential for growth and performance. Grass quality also can be very variable and its nutritional value starts declining from mid-summer on wards.

 
Keeping flies and biting insects under control is another problem with grazing stock over the summer months.

DOWNLAND BUZZ OFF LICKS CAN HELP DISCOURAGE THESE NUISANCE INSECTS AND HELP BALANCE POTENTIAL NUTRITIONAL SHORTFALLS IN GRAZING:

 

• Highly palatable licks that contain specially selected garlic, which after ingestion strong garlic compounds begin to secrete through the skin discouraging insects.
• Keeping grazing disturbance to a minimum helps encourage livestock to maximise their grass and forage intakes.
• Flies and midges that affect livestock are not only a menace and irritation to the animal they can also transmit diseases, therefore discouraging them becomes even more imperative.
• Contains essential vitamins and minerals to support any potential deficiencies in grass supporting livestock performance and health.

Fly Problems?

Fly problems can occur anytime between April and November – treat early to maximise success.

Click here to find out more about Flydown.

Essential Bolouses for Lambs

Essential Boluses for Lambs help reduce the nutritional stress of weaning and make up for mineral shortfalls in grazing.

A specially designed mini-bolus designed to give growing lambs the best start possible, Essential Lamb is suitable for lambs over 25kg with a fully developed rumen. One application lasts for 120 days.

For further information contact your local Downland retailer.

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Maximise your Lamb’s Potential – Support Lambs Post Weaning with Downland Optigain.

The start to 2017 has, thankfully, not been a very cold one, with temperatures dipping below 0C only a handful of times in most areas. This has been replaced by a mild and wet winter with little improvement looming as we move towards the start of spring, making for poor quality land and sodden pastures which are low in vital trace elements.

 

To help minimise the effect of weaning lag on on-going performance, supplementation at weaning is paramount to help achieve good growth in your market lambs and replacements; driving weight gain to achieve optimum weights as quickly as possible. Optigain drench has been developed to provide additional nutrients when growing lambs need them most, providing a comprehensive specification of vitamins and trace elements to support growth when pastures may not contain the key elements the animals required e.g. Cobalt, Selenium and Vitamin B12.

Formulated and tested, the unique nature of Optigain’s highly soluble chelates provides benefits to farmers when compared to other typical market specifications:

  • Accurate – supplying the correct levels each feed.
  • Safe – Low risk of over dosing
  • Free flowing – Rapid accurate feeding
  • Compliant – maximising the permitted amounts of nutrients per feed.
  • Convenient – Quick and Easy
  • Cost effective

Contact your local Downland retailer for more information on the Optigain range.

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Mag Extra – Ideal to Help Manage Grass Staggers Risk

Rapidly growing grass has a low magnesium content with a poor availability due to its low dry matter content, high potash level and the high protein (nitrogen) content. Minimising the risks associated with magnesium during spring turnout can help mitigate the risk of grass staggers in lactating cows and sheep.

Any sort of stress; environmental, dietary or metabolic can further decrease the availability or absorption of magnesium. It is estimated up to 1% of our national herd and flock is affected by magnesium deficiency clinically or sub-clinically each year and up to 30% of this figure results in death.

Magnesium is not easily mobilised from body reserves and coupled with this is an extremely low circulatory pool from which animals can draw from when required. Consequently they are always on a near knife-edge in terms of availability, which is why even a small disruption in dietary supply can cause a problem.

By understanding the nutritional challenges, farmers are better able to make an informed choice of the most appropriate method of supplementation to avoid this disease.

Downland Mag Extra licks offer the ideal solution:
• Contains a very high magnesium level (18% Mg)
• Added sodium aids magnesium absorption
• Includes a full range of other essential minerals and vitamins
• Added protected zinc to support foot and teat health
• Offer to cows and ewes in advance of the risk period to acclimatise them to the lick
• Position close to the water source to encourage higher intake
• Also available with copper

 

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Fresh Start proved farm’s scours was more than a ‘grumbling’ problem

Dairy farmer Allan Young was not too concerned by the grumbling, low level salmonella scours problem in his young calves. It wasn’t causing any deaths, he says, just taking the edge off their growth.

But, at the suggestion of his local Downland retailer, McCaskie Agriculture, he treated his calves with Fresh Start® Improve – and he was greatly impressed with the results.

“The difference underlined just how significant the problem was,” says Allan. “With Fresh Start® Improve the appetite and growth of calves improved and they were more vigorous. It cleared the scours problem we had suffered.”

Allan is the third generation of his family to run Straid Farm at New Cumnock in Ayrshire. He does so in partnership with his wife Elaine and parents David and Kay Young. They have 160 milking cows – Holsteins – and about the same number of young stock on the 220-acre farm, which is all down to grass.

David, with the caution that’s a trade mark of hard-working farmers, wanted proof that curing the problem was a result of Fresh Start® Improve and not their fine-tuning to calf management. Says Allan: “We stopped using the product for one batch of calves, for about a month, and the scours came back.”

It convinced them all that the success was down to Fresh Start® Improve, and now its use is a routine part of calf management.  Mortality rate on the farm is below one per cent. “Deaths have never been a big issue here.  At one stage mortality did rise to three per cent, but that was largely down to a ventilation issue in the rearing shed, which we quickly sorted,” he adds.

About 30 calves a year are bred as dairy herd replacements. Other cows produce continental-cross calves, Limousine or Belgian Blue, via AI to produce quality calves for the beef market.

Once farmers have ruled out nutritional causes of scours – such as over feeding or incorrect mixing of milk replacer – the finger of blame will point at infection. This can be viruses such as rotavirus and coronavirus; bacteria, for example E.coli or salmonella, or parasites – such as cryptosporidium and coccidia.

Scours is the most common disease problem in unweaned calves says NADIS, the National Animal Disease Information Service. It is responsible for about half of all calf deaths in Britain.

Results of a late 1990s study into calf enteritis, produced by NADIS, put costs per scouring calf at an estimated £26. It suggested the total cost, taking account of depressed weight gain and lost milk yield, totalled about £123 per affected calf (Byron, J S 1997).

The unique package of ingredients that make up Fresh Start® Improve reduces scours, improves growth and supports the immune system. It also contains DHA omega-3, essential for calf development.  Fresh Start® Improve is only available through the Downland network of agricultural retailers throughout the UK.

Says Allan Young: “The product has proved its value on our farm.  I was away for a while during the treatment of a batch of calves. When I got back the difference in the young animals was quite astounding.  Its use is good welfare, and good economic sense.”

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Win an Opti-Lix Beanie Hat!

Win an Opti-Lix Beanie Hat!

To win 1 of 20 Opti-Lix beanie hats, visit our Facebook page and simply comment win, like and share the post.

Competition closes at 5pm 24th March with the winners chosen at random and announced Monday 27th March

Dumfries Farmer Scoops Prize in National Competition.

A Dumfries farmer has won a national competition held by Downland.

Roy Hiddleston, who farms near Dumfries correctly guessed the closest weight in the ‘Guess the Weight of the Downland Lamb’ completion on social media platform Facebook.

Rachel Clarry, Downland marketing, commented; ‘The competition asked farmers to guess what the weight of the Downland Lamb, would be on the 1st March 2017. The Downland Lamb was born on 2nd January 2017, birth weight 6kgs, she is a Suffolk ewe lamb and was fed Lamb Force Ewe Milk Replacer for 8 weeks. She was being fed ad lib on automatic feeder and offered creep. On the 1st of March the lamb weighed an impressive 36kgs’.

Roy’s successful guess of 36.2kg meant he won a £500 voucher to spend on Downland branded product at his local Downland retailer Murray Farmcare. Pictured is Roy Hiddleston receiving his voucher from his Murray Farmcare territory manager Bob Carruthers.

Rachel added. ‘We were delighted with the success of the competition and the weight of the lamb at 36kg after eight weeks, shows what a great product Lamb Force Ewe Milk Replacer, which is made with Ewe’s milk, really is’.

For further information on Downland Lamb Force Ewe Milk Replacer visit www.downland.co.uk or call 01228 564498 for further details.

Maximising Calf Health and Performance is Crucial for 22 Month Calving

Martin Denholm from Lochdrum Farm, Bonnybridge, in Scotland saw a notable improvement in his calves when he carried out a trial using Fresh Start® Improve
last spring.


Martin rears 120 calves per year and he considers calf health very important to enable
optimal growth, particularly in the rearing of his replacement dairy heifers, which he
now consistently calves at between 22 and 23 months.

“The results of the trial convinced me of the benefits of using Fresh Start Improve and I have continued to use the product.”


Martin, milks 120 cows using a robotic system and feeds the calves though an automatic
feeder. The product appealed to him as he strives to maintain and improve calf health
and increase daily live weight gains. Commenting on the results from the trial,
Martin was pleased with the improvements in the calves. “We tried Fresh Start® Improve for a period of 5 weeks and noticed that dry feed intake increased. Subsequently, growth rates improved and calves were noticeably bigger. Overall, they just looked healthier and their coats were shining.”

To find out more about Fresh Start Improve, click here.

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Fresh Start Cow and Calf Boost

An energy rich liquid for cows and calves, providing an immediate supply of energy, vitamins, trace minerals and amino acids at critical periods. Designed to supplement cows and calves with additional energy to meet their body’s demands and support a healthy transition following calving and on-going performance.

 

 

 

 

The unique formulation contains ingredients specific to meet the immediate need for energy, while helping support the steady use of the body’s own natural reserves to burn body fat to fuel. Providing:

  • Readily available energy – to support the weak lethargic calf or help reduce the risk of poor energy availability and metabolic disorders in older cattle.
  • LiFT technology – including choline to help support liver function and aid ongoing energy balance.
  • L – Carnitine – a little heard of and yet very effective ingredient which helps breakdown of body fats into useable energy for calves and adult cattle.
  • Yeast – designed to support rumen function and feed intake.

The dual use product and easy feed bottle with built in applicator provides farmers and farm managers with an effective solution to meeting on farm energy requirements, supporting transition cows and young calves.

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PRIORITISE QUICK COW RECOVERY

Correct rehydration post-calving is crucial to support quick cow recovery. Therefore, the importance of administering a balanced rehydration supplement, immediately after calving should not be over looked.


Calving is an extremely stressful time for the cow. Hormonal, dietary and environmental changes mean cows are exposed to more stress factors than usual. This, combined with the limited fluid intake during the calving process, exposes the cow to a greater risk of post-calving problems such as a displaced abomasum (DA), retained placenta, milk fever and ketosis which can all affect overall performance and productivity.

On average, 7% of the herd are likely to suffer from milk fever, costing an average of £220 per cow to treat. Likewise, an average of 4% of the herd are likely to suffer from ketosis, and 3% DA, costing £100 and £208 per cow to treat, respectively.
The loss of productivity, combined with the added labour and time required to deal with sick cows means that these costs are likely to be the bare minimum when dealing with post-calving issues.


However, the risk of these conditions can be reduced by providing a balanced rehydration supplement immediately post-calving. With this in mind,  Downland Post Calver is an oral supplement, specially formulated to include calcium propionate, a palatable form of calcium that also acts as an energy precursor; glucose as an energy source; and electrolytes to reverse the effects of dehydration during calving.

A 1kg, individual cow sachet of Downland Post Calver is formulated to easily dissolve in 15 to 20 litres of warm water, to make a palatable drink that I’d advise giving to all cows immediately post-calving, to take advantage of the initial period when they are most likely to eat and drink.
Ensuring fluid intakes replace what is lost during calving, while supplying the correct balance of glucose, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, will help mitigate the risk of post-calving problems, ensuring cow performance is optimised and key calving issues addressed.
Ideally, a balanced rehydration supplement should be administered to each cow after calving, as part of the overall post-calving routine to help support quick cow recovery.

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Premium Stock Marker Spray

Approved by the British wool Marketing Board, Downland Premium Stock Marker spray will provide farmers with a reliable sheep marking solution.

The Downland Premium Stock Marker Spray is a high performance animal marker which has been specially formulated to give a non-smudging, dry mark instantly. It is suitable for all types of identification. Available in seven vibrant colours: red, blue, green, orange, yellow, purple and black.

  • Weather resistant and fully scourable
  • Rapid drying formulation
  • Works on both wet and dry fleeces
  • Suitable for making precise and accurate markings
  • Ideal for pairing ewes and lambs at birth
  • 450 ml can

Downland Premium Stock Marker spray is also suitable for use on cattle when temporary identification may be required.

The Downland premium stock Marker Spray is a tried and tested product and is an excellent choice for farmers who are looking for a spray that is long-lasting, vibrant and above all high in quality and cost effective.

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NEW PRODUCT: Downland Aluminium Spray

Downland Aluminium Spray is a clear fine mist which is ideal for dehorning, castrating, tail docking and the treatment of cuts, scrapes and wounds on farm animals as well as cats and dogs. It forms a protective barrier against micro-organisms, bacteria and fungi including dermatophilus congdensis the causative agent of rain scald. Can be used for teat ends in dry cows only. Should not be used to cover teat injuries in lactating animals producing milk for human consumption.

Downland Aluminium Spray does not contain any antibiotics and is safe to use on animals intended for human consumption.

For further information contact your local Downland retailer.

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Opti-Lix Pre-Calver

Opti-Lix Pre-Calver is a low moisture, high specification vitamin-mineral lick for cows during the dry period.

Correct management and nutrition of the dry cow are critical for obtaining maximum dry matter intake, increased reproductive efficiency and optimum milk production in the following lactation.

For more information on Opti-Lix Pre-Calver and the other products in the Opti-Lix range click here.

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Ewe milk in Lamb Force keeps top class lambs in top class condition

Giving lambs the best start in life is a priority for an Aberdeenshire pedigree sheep farming partnership which sells 100 tups annually.

Melvin Stuart and his parents, George and Agnes, run a flock of 140 pedigree Suffolks ewes and 30 pedigree Texel ewes at 260-acre Milltown of Birness Farm near Ellon. Artificial insemination is used across the flock with all the Suffolks served to a pedigree tup.

Melvin Stuart and Fran Locke

Ewes lamb from January 1st and lambs are immediately tube-fed 120ml of ewe colostrum. If the ewe doesn’t have colostrum, an artificial product is used.

The lambs are bottle-reared for one week before they are introduced to Downland Lamb Force Ewe Milk Replacer. This product, which the lambs receive ad lib from a machine, is made with ewe milk unlike other lamb milks which are made with cow’s milk only.

The ewe milk is a byproduct of the product of Roquefort cheese, also known as the king of cheese, and is full of protein including antibodies against common sheep diseases. The flavour and smell of the ewe milk is also highly attractive to the lamb.

Melvin says one of the many advantages of Downland Lamb Force is that it mixes well. “It mixes better than any powder we have ever used,’’ he says.

The milk is fed warm for four weeks but cold for the following two weeks to prevent lambs from gorging on it.

Murray Stuart

After weaning the lambs progress onto an ad lib ration of creep feed.

The lambs perform well on this system and are in top condition to be sold as tups at Shrewsbury, Kelso and Thainstone markets from July onwards. Females are retained as replacements.

What is Pro-Zest?

Pro-Zest is a nutritional package, developed over an 18 month period to provide farmers with peace-of-mind in the high quality of the colostrum supplements they use.

pro zest formulation logo

What is the nutritional package that makes up  Pro-Zest?

  1. High colostrum protein, lower non colostrum protein – In the short period of time before gut closure as much colostrum protein must be absorbed as possible, maximising Actual Efficiency of Absorption (AEA) and natural immune support. Other proteins, such as Whey Protein concentrates found significantly in colostrum supplements have a dilution affect, potentially limiting the AEA by competing with colostrum before the gut closes. Pro-Zest contains high ratios of natural colostrum, used in preference to other whey protein fillers. High ratios of colostrum proteins helps increase probability of absorption from the gut, the presence of other proteins can have diluting affect and therefore risk efficacy.

 

  1. Enriched with digestible fats from coconut oil – Coconut oil is a readily available healthy fat source, providing energy while feeding the gut itself. A healthier gut means better digestion and absorption of nutrients to fuel growth and development of a thrifty lamb.

 

  1. More soluble ingredients – Less complex proteins and simple fats help achieve easier mixing to save time and get the product into the animal quicker. Soluble ingredients are by nature absorbed more effectively to a healthy growing lamb/calf in the first hours of life.

colostrum 1  colostrum 2

  1. Freeze Dried colostrum source – Pro-Zest contains a high level of colostrum from freeze dried natural sources. A less aggressive drying process to spray dried, freeze drying means the proteins in the product have potentially not been damaged during processing, keeping them intact means they better support health lamb and calf development. Freeze drying helps ensure the nutrients stay intact. Reflecting the prominent practice on farm of freezing natural colostrum. Alternative supplements can use spray dried sources which are processed using more direct heating methods.

 

  1. Nustart/Proviox/OTM – Micro-nutrients including natural antioxidants and gut friendly prebiotics, helping support gut function and natural immune development to help optimise development of healthy digestive & immune systems, supporting overall health from within.

 

Why Choose Pro-Zest?

  • High quality ingredients
  • High natural colostrum content – evidenced in every batch by quality scanning.
  • Effective mixing for fast application.
  • Development supported by leading voices in calf and colostrum management.
  • Ingredient inclusions balanced to help ensure easy mixing to allow quick application.
    – As with human neonatal care, health and convenience are shared principles with the care of new born lambs & calves these are extended to Downland Fresh Start and Lamb Force ranges of colostrum powders. The dispersibility of colostrum powders manufactured to Pro Zest is assessed using methods taken directly from expertise in the manufacture of ingredients for human baby milk.

Why was Pro-Zest developed?

The choice of supplement in the UK market is vast, and experience suggests that the content of natural colostrum, efficiency, energy and total protein varies markedly by product. As does the reliability of content verbally claimed within the product. Combine practical principles such as product mixing for ease of feeding, and the need for consideration of all of these parameters to achieve a high quality, reliable product is clear.

“Pro-Zest signifies a balanced fusion of essential colostrum protein from easily digestible sources, helping provide lambs and calves the Zest for life in one easy mix formula”

Downland group lamb col Downland group calf col

On-Farm Nutritionist Advisor – National

Downland Marketing is the UK’s largest network of privately owned independent merchants specialising in distributing a range of agricultural animal health and nutrition products.  We have a vacancy for an On Farm Nutritionist Advisor. To offer advice, promote and sell Downland animal nutrition products to both Downland Franchisees and in turn to their farmer customer.

This post is  a home-based, national role offered as a 2 year fixed term contract.

The key responsibilities include maintaining and growing sales of the identified products through the franchisee network, providing technical support for franchisees and farmers, providing training and dual calling with merchant and depot sales staff to increase business, Independent farm calling to promote business on behalf of Downland franchisee businesses, develop good working relationships with franchisee’s sales and retail staff, execute sales campaigns as planned, attend and support Downland Franchisees at local events to promote the products.

Applicants should have a current valid driving licence, knowledge of agricultural production systems and market place, knowledge of ruminant nutrition, aptitude for selling, excellent interpersonal skills, positive attitude, be self motivated with a proven ability to work alone. You will have a commitment to achieving excellent customer service and be a team player. A formal agricultural/nutritionist qualification is desirable.

Please apply in writing or email, enclosing a covering letter and CV to:

Operations Manager, email; operations@downland.co.uk

Downland Marketing Ltd, Warwick Mill, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA4 8RR

Competitive Salary, plus company vehicle, laptop/tablet, mobile phone.

Closing date for applications is 31st January 2017.

New Associate Membership Announced between Downland and Moredun

Downland are pleased to announce that we have joined up with Moredun to provide our professional sales advisers and Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) with the most up to date research information on a range of endemic infectious diseases of livestock.

 

Press release from Moredun:

Moredun are delighted to announce that Downland, a UK wide network of independently owned agricultural retailers who specialise in the dairy, beef and sheep sectors, have joined up with Moredun to provide their professional sales advisors and Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) with the most up to date research information on a range of endemic infectious diseases of livestock. Moredun are particularly pleased to have this association as we are committed to effective knowledge exchange to the livestock industry and the extensive network of SQPs in the UK supplying animal health products to farmers are a very important part of the industry, where fully updated research facts are extremely important. Animal Health Distributors Association (UK) Ltd is already an associate member of Moredun so the addition of Downland to our membership strengthens our connections to the animal health retail industry to the benefit of both this area of the industry and Moredun.

Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute and Chief Executive of the Moredun Foundation, said:

“We very pleased that Downland are joining us and look forward to a fruitful association on both sides. Joining Moredun means that all their staff have access to the latest research information. This is particularly important for SQPs as they will now have the opportunity to learn more about specific livestock health problems, so that they can make informed recommendations to their farmer clients about disease control on their farms.”

Stuart Stamper, Operations Manager at Downland said:

“The Downland ethos is to provide farmers with the ‘Best Advice’ therefore working in partnership with the Moredun Research Institute enables our professional sales advisors and Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) to be leaders in the field when it comes to advising farmers on livestock health planning.”

To mark the new relationship, Moredun welcomed Downland to their research facilities as part of their annual conference on Tuesday 6th December. The day at Moredun enabled the attending SQPs to gain AMTRA CPD points and to update their knowledge in liver fluke control in livestock and learn about strategies to control Cryptosporidium on farms. A master class in Worm Egg Counting (WEC) for the gastro-intestinal nematodes important to livestock health and production was held and very much enjoyed by the 64 delegates who attended, who had the opportunity to try their hand at WEC so gaining personal experience of the technique and importantly, interpretation of the test results.

 

Plan for the whole Lifecycle with Downland

Helping Maximise Your Lambing with our Neonatal Range.

In the natural environment, lambs are completely dependent on the care of the ewe after birth. Poor mothering, either due to behaviour or milking ability, can cause unnecessary stress on the young or threaten their survival. Combine this with a harsh wet or windy environment, dirty or damp bedding and the probability of good healthy development of “neonatal” young, are slim.

Throughout this time, interventions can be made to help ensure good development, growth and profitability. Particularly when we consider the dependence on the ewe starts prior to birth.

To help with the management of lambs throughout their neonatal lives, Downland has developed a comprehensive range of Lamb Force nutritional products so that every intervention counts. The range is accompanied by lifecycle tools and best advice from Downland franchisee’s to ensure the products can be fed when the animals need them most.

Together the products help to push back on the common farm challenges which threaten lambs. They focus on key areas of performance lag via natural colostrum enrichment, energy metabolism, to reduce risk of lethargy, and healthy gut development.

Lamb Force Twin Lamb liquid

Downland Twin Lamb

Available in 500ml and an economical 1lt flock pack. Supporting lamb dependence prior to birth this complementary feedstuff supplies vital energy to ewes carrying multiple lambs. The compliment of vitamins, trace elements and the addition of L-carnitine, to aid the burning of stored fat for fuel, assist a nutritionally challenged ewe.

Lamb Force Colostrum

Downland Lamb Col group copy

An easy mixing natural colostrum based feed to aid new-born lambs by complementing or replacing maternal colostrum when in poor supply or of reduced quality. Downland’s new Pro-Zest formulation is a balanced fusion of essential colostrum protein from easily digestible sources, helping provide lambs the Zest for life in one easy mix formula by:

  • Increasing the proportion of colostrum from freeze dried natural sources, helping reduce potential competition for absorption from other non-colostrum sources.
  • Product scanning of the colostrum proteins to help ensure levels to our high standards.
  • Ingredient inclusions balanced to help ensure easy mixing of the product to allow quick application.
Lamb Force Liquid Colostrum

Liquid Colostrum

A complementary liquid feedstuff for lambs, for use when maternal colostrum is in short supply. Our easy to feed pack, with single feed applicators help reduce the need for measuring for rapid accurate feeding practise.

Lamb Force Lamb & Ram Boost

1. Lamb & ram boost 100ml

Energy rich ingredients with antioxidants help provide available energy to assist natural suckling and reduce the risk of lethargy & hypothermia in new born lambs. Fertility in older animals is also maintained by antioxidants, providing dual purpose in an easy to apply liquid feed.

Lamb Force Downguard Pro

12. Downguard pro

A liquid suspension with egg powder, specifically designed to encourage a healthy gut environment in lambs showing symptoms of gut infections and lethargy due to poor maternal colostrum practice.

Used in combination as part of a proactive colostrum management program, the Lamb Force range of products can help to support your newborn lambs when used as part of standard management practice or during unexpected stress challenges.

Making provisions for support of Maternal Colostrum

New-born Calves & Lambs should receive colostrum before pathogens get the chance to infect them. To achieve this, it is essential that the 4 Q’s (Quickly, Quantity, Quality and Quietly) are considered to meet the neonatals colostrum demand.

Usually the dam provides adequate colostrum, however on a number of occasions this is not the case:

  • Inadequate nutrition of the dam prior to giving birth – Quality and Quantity of colostrum are negatively affected by poor energy and protein supply in the last third of gestation. Risks to the dam or lamb/calf include deficiencies in key vitamins, trace elements, immune proteins or fat.
  • Inadequate environmental conditions – Quick and Quiet colostrum ingestion can be impacted as overcrowded, cold, wet, harsh surroundings increase exposure to disease. Poor conditions decrease the probability of adequate colostrum consumption as severely stressed, soaked offspring struggles to maintain their own internal temperature to get to the dam and feed.

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Downland’s ProZest concept has been developed with this in mind, to provide farmers with the peace of mind in:

All of the formulations strengths remain. The product has been reformulated however, to balance the overall protein contribution in favour of colostrum proteins, while improving product mixing. This is achieved by reducing non colostrum whey protein which would normally compete in the calves/lambs gut and reduce effective uptake of beneficial proteins.

  • The correct balance of proteins in favour of natural colostrum sources. – Improved efficacy achieved from maximising the globular protein available by reducing competition from other protein components.
  • Adequate protein from natural colostrum sources – better blend of ingredients enabling an easier mixing product, achieved using expertise and protocols from human baby milk manufacturing operations.
  • Easy mixing ingredients.

Use Lamb Force and Fresh Start Colostrums, formulated to ProZest, for the following benefits:

  • Increase the proportion of colostrum from freeze dried natural sources, helping reduce potential competition for absorption from other non-colostrum protein.
  • Scanning of the product batches for colostrum proteins helps ensure adequate supplementary levels.

Downland Lamb Col group copy Downland group calf col

Ingredient inclusions are balanced to help ensure easy mixing of the product to allow quick application.

“ProZest signifies a balanced fusion of essential colostrum protein from easily digestible sources, helping provide lambs and calves the Zest for life in one easy mix formula”

Opti-Lix Low Moisture Licks

The Opti-Lix range of low moisture licks offers sheep, beef and diary farmers a highly palatable hardened product designed to supplement grazing or forage-based rations.

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High Specification – Opti-Lix contains a balance of nutrients to maintain stock health, fertility and performance that compliment forages and grazing. Included within the range are chelated zinc and copper and selenised yeast to ensure better availability.

High Sugars – The manufacturing process allows a high level of sugars to be retained in Opti-Lix. More sugars means more fermentable energy for the rumen bugs. This results in better digestibility of home grown forages saving money on bought in feeds.

Find out more about the full range of Opti-Lix products here.

Congratulations to Scott Brown – Farm SQP of the Year!

Congratulations to Scott Brown from Downland Retailer Murray Farmcare who has been awarded Farm SQP of the year at this year’s Over the Counter Awards!

The awards spotlight individuals in the animal health industry who go the extra mile – and more – for their customers through their knowledge, passion and dedication.

Congratulations to Scott from all at Downland!

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NEW PRODUCT: Optilac Super

Optilac Super is a ready to use Lactic Acid Teat Disinfectant which contains the emollients Allantoin, Glycerol and Sodium Lactate (which helps balance the pH of the skin).

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OPTILAC SUPER has a combination of humectant and emollient properties to smooth and soften the skin to reduce cracks and crevices where bacteria may multiply.

OPTILAC SUPER is ideal for both pre and post teat dipping. OPTILAC SUPER passes European disinfectant test method EN 1656.

OPTILAC SUPER has an intense, long lasting dark green colour to indicate which cows have been effectively dipped or sprayed.

Optigain; “Easy Feeding.”

High in Pembrokshire, just outside Fishguard, Vivian Davies and his family tend to their farm of 900 sheep and 36 sucklers. This has been a family affair since 1939 and now the 4th generation tends to the stock on the farms 340 acres of hillside.

vivian-davies-farm

The flock is made up of a mix of Texel Cross/Mules and Texel Cross/Charollais, mainly from Texel rams, all showing good growth rates, condition and performance. A change over the past 12 months, introducing the Innovis breeding system to further improve market weights is showing some promising initial results.

Getting that little bit more from the flock is one of the reasons Vivian and his son started to  look at supplementation during key times of the season. They needed something which was practical and reliable, while making a difference to their livestock’s health,  fitting nicely into the lambing system they work too. Their lambing system co-ordinates tupping so that they lamb in batches across 3 months,  helping them to manage the limited pen space they have available. It also enables them to tup and lamb all 900 ewes without it being too stressful, making sure they are giving the ewes and lambs the attention they need to ensure low mortality rates, weak lambs not being lost among a multitude of lambs born in one sitting.  Using a drench, like Optigain allows them to closely observe and handle each animal in turn so they can see and feel the condition and vigour. Each animal can be assured they are getting the nutrients they need as each feed is individually administered.

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After canvasing a few farmers in the area, Vivian decided on Optigain Sheep + Copper from Peter Lewis Agri & Equi Supplies. “The reputation of an easy feeding formula which was not thick and brown made this product the obvious choice. As a test it was first used on the ewe’s pre-tupping. Feeding was found to be no problem at all,  the dosing programe has been rolled out to also include lambs after they are a month old. The difference in using a drench which is free flowing is clear, the health of my applicator gun is also improved.” Said Vivian.

vivian-davies-and-family

Vivian Davies and his family

Vivian added; “We are currently in the middle of the second batch of next seasons ewe’s and they have already had their pre-tupping feed of Optigain, the aim being to support ovulation ready for the tup to get the highest possible scanning rates. The last batch, made up of the final 400 ewes is due now, as they will being going to the tup in October.

Through supplementation and the recent change in the breeding system we are hoping for an extra kilo on top of our 21kg deadweight target this year. Based on this Vivian is delighted with his stock and looking forward to a great next seasons lambing”.

Optigain Sheep +Copper

Provides ewe’s and rams with a comprehensive blend of vitamins and trace elements including a unique combination of selenium and natural vitamin E required for the support of fertility, condition and on-going performance.

Optigain is available from your local Downland retailer, for further information click here.

Reduce Problems at Housing with Downland Breathe Rite

Breathe Rite – The Natural Decongestant.

Breathe Rite buckets are ideal for cattle at risk from respiratory problems caused by still, damp and cooler weather or from housing.

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The buckets provide an easy solution to the transition phase that stock experience between grazing and winter housing quarters and a major change in nutrition, which may compromise their immunity.

The stress of a different environment can be a trigger factor for various problems. In addition, Breathe Rite provide essential minerals and vitamins needed to balance winter rations based on conserved forages.

Breathe Rite contains a unique blend of essential oils and plant extracts to help maintain a healthy respiratory system.

Benefits of Breathe Rite:
  • Use before housing and throughout risk periods
  • Contains specially selected essential oils and plant extracts
  • Selenium, including the selenium yeast form, along with very high vitamin E, is included to help optimise immunity
  • Feed formulation to give a nutritional boost to young calves, containing quality proteins only

How to feed: Feed during periods of mild and damp weather and when stock come indoors

Intakes:

Calves: 50-75g/day
(1 bucket per 15 head/month)

Young stock: 100-150g/day
(1 bucket per 7 head/month)

Also available in 10kg pails for use in calf pens.

Ratta Rodent Control Baits

Best Advice in Rodent Control

Always have a planned approach

  • Before treatment begins, a thorough survey of the infested site is an essential key to success when using any rodenticide.
  • Environmental changes which could be made to reduce the attractiveness of the site to rodents should be noted for implementing after the treatment. Usually this will involve rodent proofing and removing rubbish and weeds that provide harbourages and cover. However, the site should not be cleared before treatment since this will disturb the rodent population and make bait acceptance more difficult to achieve.
  • Obvious food, such as spilled grain, should be removed as far as possible and any food sources covered.
  • Rodenticide baits should only be used for as long as is necessary to achieve satisfactory control.
  • In most cases, any anticoagulant bait should have achieved control within 35 days. Should activity continue beyond this time, the likely cause should be determined and documented. If bait continues to be consumed without effect, a more potent anticoagulant should be considered. If bait take is poor, relative to the apparent size of the infestation, consideration should be given to re-siting the bait points and possibly changing to another bait base, as well as making other environment changes.

Pest Control

Always record quantity of bait used and where it is placed

  • A simple site plan or location list identifying areas of particular concern pertinent to the site should be drawn up and retained.
  • A record of all bait points and the amount of bait laid should be maintained during the treatment. Activity should be noted at each bait point, including any missing or disturbed baits, as the treatment progresses.
  • By carefully recording the sites of all bait points responsible users of rodenticides are able to return to these sites at the end of the treatment and remove uneaten bait so that it does not become available to wildlife.
  • Bait left out at the end of a treatment is a potential source of contamination of wildlife.
  • On completion of the treatment, records should be updated to signify that the infestation is controlled and that, as far as reasonably practical, all steps have been taken to ensure that the site is now free of rodenticide bait.
    Ratta-all-mix-set_2015

    Always use enough baiting points

    • Users should follow the label instructions regarding the size and frequency of bait points and the advice given regarding the frequency and number of visits to the site.
    • By using enough bait points the rodent control treatment will be conducted most efficiently and in the shortest possible time. This will restrict the duration of exposure of non-target animals to a minimum.

    Always collect and dispose of rodent bodies

    • The bodies of dead rodents may carry residues of rodenticides and, if eaten by predators or scavengers, may be a source of wildlife exposure to rodenticides.
    • It is essential to carry out regular searches for rodent bodies, both during and after the treatment period. Bodies may be found for several days after rats have eaten the bait and rats may die up to 100 metres or more away from the baited site.
    • Any rodent bodies should be removed from the site and disposed of safely using the methods recommended on the label.

    Never leave bait exposed to non-target animals and birds

    • Care should be taken to ensure that bait is sufficiently protected to avoid accidentally poisoning other mammals and birds. Natural materials should be used where possible.
    • Bait stations should be appropriate to the prevailing circumstances. They should provide access to the bait by rodents, while reducing the risks of non-target access and interference by unauthorised persons. They should protect the bait from contamination by dust or rain. Their design, construction and placement should be such that interference is minimised.

    Never fail to inspect bait regularly

    • Where the risk assessment or treatment records show that multiple visits are required, then those should be made as frequently as is considered necessary. Daily inspection may be required in some circumstances.
    • At each visit, baits should be replenished according to the product label and a thorough search made to ensure that bodies and any spilled bait are removed and disposed of safely. Records of such visits should be maintained.

    Never leave bait down at the end of the treatment

  •  Bait left out at the end of a treatment is a potential source of contamination of wildlife.
  • On completion of the treatment, records should be updated to signify that the infestation is controlled and that, as far as reasonably practical, all steps have been taken to ensure that the site is now free of rodenticide bait.

Click here to view the full range of Ratta rodent control baits.

Boluses Provide Cattle With Essential Trace Elements

During housing cattle undergo significant stresses, such as movement and group change, but most importantly a rapid diet change from pasture to forage.

DL Essential Cattle

Housing is an ideal time to bolus adult cattle and can fit easily into the farm management system Adult cattle can be supplemented with a single administration of an Essential Cattle Bolus at a minimum weight of 400kg.

DL Essential Cattle +

Supplementing adult cattle at housing will give them a six month supply of trace elements.

For further information on the full range of Essential Boluses contact your local Downland retailer.

Sheep Natural Energy – Feed to all Breeding Ewes Pre and Post Lambing.

SHEEP NATURAL ENERGY is a unique and specially formulated feed supplement to be fed to ewes to boost energy and protein supply during the critical tupping to lambing period.

Feed throughout pregnancy to maintain good ewe health and condition to ensure both ewe and lamb are in peak health as lambing approaches. The high energy dense
formulation will help meet the ewes considerable demand for energy pre-post
lambing, and will assist in combating twin lamb disease.

Downland_Sheep Natural Energy

Its unique formulation includes multiple sources of energy, including rumen by pass vegetable oil and sugar from molasses to give her an energy boost when she needs it most. Quality protein sources are used to meet the demands of the growing lamb and ensure ewes have adequate quality colostrum and milk supply at lambing. Omega 3 fatty acids from sh oil is added to support fertility in tups and ewes and strong viable lambs. Packed with minerals, trace elements and vitamins, including ultra high vitamin E, Sheep Natural Energy will assist in optimising the immune status to help protect against infections and disease thus minimising the potential risk of lamb and ewe losses.
Sheep Natural Energy can also be fed to growing lambs on roots and forage to
help meet target growth rates.

  • Energy dense (13.5MJ) lick from multiple sources including rumen bypass vegetable oil
  • Quality protein sources, including Hi Pro Soya, to support colostrum and milk supply
  • Ultra high vitamin E (500iu) & selenium (15mg), including Sel-Plex, to optimise immune function to help protect against disease and ease lambing process
  • High zinc (2500mg) level ( including chelated source) to support health feet and teats
  • Added Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil , to optimise fertility and thrifty lambs

For further product information click here.

Successful Farmer Evening!

Cornwall Countryside Supplies had a very successful farmer evening presentation on the 21st September to promote the Downland brand in Cornwall. Mark Lowden, Chief Executive of Downland very kindly presented, along with John Taylor from Trouw Nutrition who gave an informative talk on the advantages of correct mineral supplementation in autumn rations.

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Anthony and the whole Cornwall Countryside Supplies team would like to thank both speakers and all who attended for a enjoyable evening.

ccs-logoDownland are delighted for whole team at Cornwall Countryside Supplies who have been nominated for Family Run Farm of the year in the South West Farmer Awards 2016. Anthony Nichols has also been nominated for Outstanding Achievement of the Year, we look forward to the hearing the results on the 3rd November.

Fresh Start Colostrum’s “Golden Hour.”

Having lived in the Honiton area since the 1500’s, Rodney Prings family has a rich history in the village wholly centred on farming and agriculture. The family farm, a short walk from the centre of town stretches out for 270 acres up the rolling hillsides, adjoined by lanes and roads amongst the busy community.

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Rodney currently milks a healthy herd of 100 British and Holstein Freshians, the cross allowing him to get more height in the herd, and although not typical of the standard Freshain, Rodney desired a more robust animal to help minimise the overall health problems experienced in purebred beasts. Mainly as his herd do a lot of walking on the roads which interlink the farm and so need a strong frame.

The standard management of his herd is very good and the family work closely with Herd Health to continually put effort into proactive practices that maximize condition and maintain a happy herd, mastitis particularly is kept overall very low by not letting anything slip.

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As the majority of replacements come from within the herd the larger height and frame does bring some drawbacks, and when calving Rodney sees that some take a little longer and the calves themselves can be a little low to suckle. To get over this Rodney makes sure he is on hand to tackle any late sucklers, having Fresh Start Calf colostrum ready every time gives him the confidence in supplying the early energy and enriched colostrum during, “the golden hour,” to help support natural immune development and reduce the risk of problems later. The energy boost encouraging further feeding, to allow for further suckling to obtain the vital amount of natural colostrum within the first 24 hours of life. Having had past experience with scours, Rodney uses this technique to be sure he is doing all he can.

The extra effort is making a difference, achieving A band in terms of quality and high percentage of butter cream allows for a reasonable price per litre, taking comfort in that by not compromising on care he is squeezing that little bit more from a difficult market. Rodney purchases his Fresh Start Calf colostrum from his local Downland retailer Perkins Animal Health and Nutrition.

Rodney says, “Bag feeding Fresh Start Colostrum in the golden hour complements natural maternal colostrum, helping encourage further suckling and providing important nutrients to my calves.”

Fresh Start Calf Colostrum is available from your local Downland retailer

New Product: Opti-Lix Pre-Calver

Opti-Lix Pre-Calver is a low moisture, high specification vitamin-mineral lick for cows during the dry period. Correct management and nutrition of the dry cow are critical for obtaining maximum dry matter intake, increased reproductive efficiency and optimum milk production in the following lactation.

opti-lix-pre-calver-20g_lr opti-lix-pre-calver-80kg_lr

 

Benefits:

  • Fortified with minerals, trace elements and vitamins to balance forages.
  • Low calcium and high magnesium helps cow mobilise calcium to prepare for calving and prevent milk fever.
  • Contains excellent levels of the vital anti-oxidants selenium and vitamin E to help support cow and calf immunity, and promote newborn health and vitality.
  • Contains an optimal level of copper including protected copper to help support cow immunity and fertility.
  • Zinc to support foot health, includes protected zinc.
  • Available in 20kg and 80kg tubs.

Trace elements are vital for the mating period

Making sure that both the ewe and tup’s trace element status is correct before tupping is key to reducing the number of barren ewes along with increasing lambing percentage.

Key trace elements:
• Iodine – Growth and formation of the thyroid gland, a low Iodine status could result in dead or weak lambs at birth.

• Cobalt – Production of Vit B12 – important for thrive and fertility.

• Selenium – Sperm tail formation in rams, crucial for ram fertility. Low selenium levels in either the ewe or tup can result in impaired reproduction. Adequate selenium status throughout pregnancy is important for prevention of white muscle disease in lambs at birth.

Peaks and troughs in an animals trace element status can impair fertility. Best practice is to ensure animals are supplemented as required to ensure levels of key trace elements are stable throughout the year.

DL Essential Sheep

The Downland Essential Sheep range has been developed to given to adult ewes pre-tupping or pre-scanning. It helps improve fertility resulting in higher conception rates and lambing percentages. Lambs have greater thrift too.

DL Essential Sheep +

Click here for further information.

PRIORITISE QUICK COW RECOVERY

Correct rehydration post-calving is crucial to support quick cow recovery. Therefore, the importance of administering a balanced rehydration supplement, immediately after calving should not be over looked.
Calving is an extremely stressful time for the cow. Hormonal, dietary and environmental changes mean cows are exposed to more stress factors than usual. This, combined with the limited fluid intake during the calving process, exposes the cow to a greater risk of post-calving problems such as a displaced abomasum (DA), retained placenta, milk fever and ketosis which can all affect overall performance and productivity.

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On average, 7% of the herd are likely to suffer from milk fever, costing an average of £220 per cow to treat. Likewise, an average of 4% of the herd are likely to suffer from ketosis, and 3% DA, costing £100 and £208 per cow to treat, respectively.
The loss of productivity, combined with the added labour and time required to deal with sick cows means that these costs are likely to be the bare minimum when dealing with post-calving issues.
However, the risk of these conditions can be reduced by providing a balanced rehydration supplement immediately post-calving.

Downland Post Calver_front shot
With this in mind, Downland has introduced a new, palatable rehydration product to the market to help support quick cow recovery. Downland Post Calver is an oral supplement, specially formulated to include calcium propionate, a palatable form of calcium that also acts as an energy precursor; glucose as an energy source; and electrolytes to reverse the effects of dehydration during calving.
A 1kg, individual cow sachet of Downland Post Calver is formulated to easily dissolve in 15 to 20 litres of warm water, to make a palatable drink that I’d advise giving to all cows immediately post-calving, to take advantage of the initial period when they are most likely to eat and drink.
Ensuring fuid intakes replace what is lost during calving, while supplying the correct balance of glucose, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, will help mitigate the risk of post-calving problems, ensuring cow performance is optimised and key calving issues addressed.
Ideally, a balanced rehydration supplement should be administered to each cow after calving, as part of the overall post-calving routine to help support quick cow recovery.

For further information on Post Calver click here

Get Calves Off To The Best Start In Life With Fresh Start

In the UK Dairy and Beef industry the number of calves reared to full term is 89 in every 100 dams. Each season 1 in 7 dairy calves and 1 in 13 beef calves are lost during rearing due to a variety of factors (NADIS UK). This carries a significant cost to the industry during an already challenging time for UK farmers.

63% of losses are due to challenges after birth. Digestive disturbance (scours) accounts for a 50% of these losses as the calves’ immature immune system becomes familiar with the potentially harmful bacteria and virus in the environment.

Downland group calf col

To help minimise the effects of the challenges around calving the Downland Fresh Start range of products supply vital nutrients to support calves and post calving cows as part of the Fresh Start Calf Life Cycle.

The quality of colostrum received by the calf is the primary concern. Consuming adequate volumes of high quality colostrum within the first 6 hours of life assists in the establishment of passive immunity, the absorption of globular proteins in colostrum help to provide protection from the environment while their own immune system develops. Failure of passive transfer predisposes calves to high morbidity or mortality (J.D Quigley 2002).

Maternal colostrum from the dam is the most common source (of globular protein) to achieve passive transfer. A typical consumption of 2 intakes of 2L of mother’s colostrum supplied to calves within the first 24 hours usually allows the animal to fulfil its requirement for protection. Failure of passive transfer (FPT) can result when not enough or poor quality colostrum is consumed and absorbed.

In some cases the dam cannot produce colostrum of adequate immunoglobulin content, leading to an inadequate passive transfer to the calf (Corke M.J, 2014) and the potential for complications.

Supplements are formulated to support or replace natural colostrum when it is in short supply. They include specific ingredients to increase colostrum intake and provide other vital nutrients:

  • Protein from digestible sources, supplying adequate protein to drive early growth and development.
  • Sufficient energy, fuelling metabolism and growth while helping to minimise any risk of hypothermia by helping maintain thermoregulation. Hypothermia accounting for 5% of calf deaths pre-weaning (NADIS)
  • Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, particularly to help support development of the calves own natural immunity.

Fresh Start Premium Colostrum is easy mixing feed stuff to aid new-born calves by complementing or replacing maternal colostrum.

pro zest formulation logo

The new Pro-Zest® formulation has been developed optimising all of the factors which make a great colostrum supplement; using high quality ingredients, balanced using increased levels of natural colostrum, evidenced from analysis of every manufactured batch. Combined in an easy mixing formula for quick administration on farm, providing farmers with the confidence and peace of mind that Downland’s Fresh Start Colostrum is a brand they can trust.

Also available in the Downland Fresh Start Range:

Downguard Calf Syringe 30g (002)

Fresh Start Downguard Calf Paste   

Downland group cow & calf                                                        

Fresh Start Cow & Calf Boost

Click here to find out more

Optimise Livestock Performance

SUMMER AND AUTUMN SUPPLEMENTATION OF CATTLE AT GRASS
As grazed grass is your lowest cost feed input, it makes sense to fully utilise this resource. It starts to become less digestible from mid-summer onwards and although it may appear green and nutritious, its dry matter content could be limiting intake. The introduction of a nutritional feed and mineral supplement to cattle is recommended to help maintain growth and performance targets.

Supplementary feeding with buckets will encourage a higher intake of grass and any additional forage, therefore helping to maintain a good body condition score and helping to reduce concentrate feeding later in the year.

Days gained in autumn will effectively shorten the winter feeding period and save on expensive straw bedding costs as well. For example, with each animal needing at least 5kg/day of straw bedding at a cost of £60 per tonne, then there is a saving of 30p/day, which will more than pay for feeding buckets in the late summer.

Downland_Cattle Balancer
OPTIMISE CATTLE PERFORMANCE WITH DOWNLAND CATTLE BALANCER LICKS:
• High in energy and quality protein to help optimise daily live-weight gain
• Full range of minerals and vitamins to support any potential deciencies in grass
• Chelated zinc for feet and teat health
• Emphasis on cobalt, selenium and protected copper to help protect early pregnancies and maintain good herd health
• Place away from the water source to manage intakes to between 100-300g/day, which is equal to 1-3 buckets per 25 head
per week (25kg tubs)
DOWNLAND CATTLE BALANCER is also available in 100kg tubs:
• Move the bucket feeding site regularly to avoid poaching or use a hard/dry area for feeding
• Place the buckets in car tyres to prevent them being pushed around
• Also available with extra magnesium (Cattle Mag Balancer), to support autumn calving and help where there is a potential risk of grass staggers

Robonex

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Lungworm disease appears from June onwards, often peaking in July and August, in un-vaccinated calves; those cattle without an effective anthelmintic programme,; and non-immune adults (either un-vaccinated or lacking previous lungworm exposure).

Early signs of lungworm include coughing, initially after exercise then at rest, and an increased respiratory rate.

Affected cattle rapidly lose weight and body condition. Prompt anthelmintic treatment is essential. To find out more about Robonex click here.

 

 

Optimal Nutrition Pre-Calving

THE IMPORTANCE OF MINERALS AND VITAMINS IN PRE-CALVING NUTRITION
Milk and suckled calf producers that ignore the importance of the dry period do so at their peril. Nutritionally it is the most important period of the annual cycle because it influences not only fresh cow performance and health, but way beyond as well, including getting the cow back in calf.

 

Dry cow rations based on grazing, grass silage and straw will inevitably be low in trace elements and vitamins. Those based on maize and whole crop forages with straw will contain even less minerals and vitamins. Dry cow requirements for minerals and
vitamins have received a lot of research interest over the past 10 years or more and we can use the findings to help improve performance and reduce metabolic health issues.

Downland_Dry Cow
OPTIMISE PERFORMANCE WITH DOWNLAND DRY COW LICKS:
The Downland Dry Cow buckets take advantage of such research within their specications and contain high levels of the crucial elements including magnesium, copper, selenium and vitamin E for example, often deficient in forages.
Providing dry cows with a properly balanced supplement to their forage should help optimise the calving process and minimise the number of cows requiring assistance to calve.

 
DOWNLAND DRY COW
• Feed from 6-8 weeks pre-calving, removing all other mineral supplements.
• Includes a high level of selenium, including selenium yeast, to help reduce the potential of retained cleansings and infections.
• A high level of copper is added, including chelated copper to help overcome the antagonistic effects of molybdenum, sulphur and iron, to optimise return to oestrus.
• Chelated zinc is included to help support feet and teat health and colostrum IgG content.
• Magnesium is included at 10% to assist with contraction strength at the point of calving.
• A high vitamin E level is added to optimise calf vigour and faster suckling plus support of the immune system to help fight infection.
• We recommend Downland Dry Cow buckets are fed free-access from 6-8 weeks pre-calving in a ratio of one bucket (25kg) per 10 cows or one tub (100kg) per 25 cows with ad lib grazing/forage.

Find out more

Maximising calf health and performance is crucial for 22 month calving

Martin Denholm from Lochdrum Farm, Bonnybridge, in Scotland saw a notable improvement in his calves when he carried out a trial using Fresh Start® Improve this spring.

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Martin rears 120 calves per year and he considers calf health very important to enable optimal growth, particularly in the rearing of his replacement dairy heifers, which he now consistently calves at between 22 and 23 months.

Martin, milks 120 cows using a robotic system and feeds the calves though an automatic feeder. The product appealed to him as he strives to maintain and improve calf health and increase daily live weight gains.

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Commenting on the results from the trial, Martin was pleased with the improvements in the calves. “We tried Fresh Start Improve for a period of 5 weeks and noticed that dry feed intake increased. Subsequently, growth rates improved and calves were noticeably bigger. Overall, they just looked healthier and their coats were shining.”

“The results of the trial convinced me of the benefits of using Fresh Start Improve and I have continued to use the product.”

To read more about Fresh Start Improve click here

SUMMER AND AUTUMN SUPPLEMENTATION OF CATTLE AT GRASS

As grazed grass is your lowest cost feed input, it makes sense to fully utilise this resource. It starts to become less digestible from mid-summer onwards and although it may appear green and nutritious, its dry matter content could be limiting intake.

 
The introduction of a nutritional feed and mineral supplement to cattle is recommended to help maintain growth and performance targets.

Downland_Cattle Balancer
Supplementary feeding with buckets will encourage a higher intake of grass and any additional forage, therefore helping to maintain a good body condition score and helping to reduce concentrate feeding later in the year.

 
Days gained in autumn will effectively shorten the winter feeding period and save on expensive straw bedding costs as well.For example, with each animal needing at least 5kg/day of straw bedding at a cost of £60 per tonne, then there is a saving of 30p/day, which will more than pay for feeding buckets in the late summer.

 
OPTIMISE CATTLE PERFORMANCE WITH DOWNLAND CATTLE BALANCER LICKS:
• High in energy and quality protein to help optimise daily live-weight gain
• Full range of minerals and vitamins to support any potential deciencies in grass
• Chelated zinc for feet and teat health
• Emphasis on cobalt, selenium and protected copper to help protect early pregnancies and maintain good herd health
• Place away from the water source to manage intakes to between 100-300g/day, which is equal to 1-3 buckets per 25 head per week (25kg tubs)

 
DOWNLAND CATTLE BALANCER is also available in 100kg tubs:
• Move the bucket feeding site regularly to avoid poaching or use a hard/dry area for feeding
• Place the buckets in car tyres to prevent them being pushed around
• Also available with extra magnesium (Cattle Mag Balancer), to support autumn calving and help where there is a potential risk of grass staggers

New Product: Fresh Start Recover

Fresh Start Recover is the simple answer for scouring calves:
Electrolytes
Energy
Alkalising agent

Downland-Fresh-Start-Recover_front-shot-Mock Downland-Fresh-Start-Recover_Sachet-Mock

A dietetic complementary supplement for the stabilisation of water and electrolyte balance to support the physiological digestion.

Fresh Start Recover is an orally administered solution indicated for use during periods of or recovery from diarrhoea. Calves with persistent diarrhoea should be referred to a
veterinary adviser.

Contact your local Downland retailer for further information.

New product proven to significantly increase calf growth rates and improve health

With a staggering 15% of dairy heifers born alive failing to make it through to rearing, producers are being reminded that small changes to infant diets can have a huge impact on not only survival rates but also overall health.

The addition of Downland’s Fresh Start Improve into milk diets, has been trialled successfully on-farm and has been proven to reduce scours and improve growth rates.

Improve 2kg

“We know that it’s essential for a calf to develop and maintain a healthy and strong gut wall, to maximise daily weight gain and reduce any growth checks at weaning.

“Fresh Start Improve is a unique combination of natural ingredients specially formulated to maximise calf growth, immune response and gut health,” says Mark Lowden, chief executive at Downland. “Added to either powdered or whole milk, the product fed at 7g/calf/day, not only binds harmful bacteria in the gut reducing the risk of scour, but also provides antioxidants which have been proven to increase antibody levels and reduce the number of days the calf is sick.

“Additionally, it supplies functional proteins directly to the gut wall and also contains a unique source of DHA omega-3 essential for calf development.”

Hefin Davies, who milks 300 Holsteins in Pembrokeshire, and calves all year round, has been feeding Downland’s Fresh Start Improve and has seen a significant improvement in calf health. “We started feeding the product last autumn and have seen a reduction in scour cases and improved growth rates. It’s hard to quantify but overall the calves are just healthier.

This is mirrored in a trial that took place on Tony Blamire’s farm in Cumbria. “Within five weeks of the product going in the milk, at 7g/day/head, scour treatments dropped from two a week to zero,” says Tony Blamire. “Interestingly, when the product was taken out, two calves were treated for scours within that week.”

Reducing the incidence of scours can make a huge difference to farm profitability, explains Mark. “Scours are reported as one of the biggest causes of on-farm calf mortality and even if the animal survives, treatment is costly and there are long term production losses.

“Costing just 15p/calf/day, producers will see return on investment through either increased growth rates or a reduction in incidence of scour. Additionally, a reduction in challenges which lead to gut problems means the calf has an improved immune response.

Mark also believes that the product provides a viable means of reducing antibiotic reliance. “Pressure is mounting on the farming industry to reduce antibiotic use and producers must start to look at alternative measures to maintain health.  The trial results show that Fresh Start Improve is an effective option that can reduce reliance on medication by optimising immune response and gut health.

Fresh Start Improve is available in 2kg or 5kg packs, for more information click here.

Buzz Off

Getting the best out of summer grazing, to keep stock growing on target is a perennial problem for stock farmers. Grass is an excellent and cost effective source of nutrients, however it is well known that it can be deficient in many of the vital micro-nutrients required to achieve target growth rates. Grass quality also can be very variable and its nutritional value starts declining from mid summer onwards.
Keeping flies and biting insects in check is another problem with grazing stock over the summer months.

Cattle

DOWNLAND BUZZ OFF BUCKETS
Special nutritional supplements can help keep livestock free from flies. A number of
studies have shown that garlic can be effective against a wide range of insects.
Garlic is a good, natural insect repellent. Its strong oils and sulphur compounds are
excreted through the skin and lungs, providing a potent scent that can help repel
irritating insects offering an alternative to chemical protects.  Buzz Off buckets containing garlic plant extracts, provide stock with an effective fly repellent solution and provide all the essential minerals and vitamins that stock need at grass. The insect and fly repellent properties of  Buzz Off can help reduce potential irritation, restlessness and infection associated with fly activity which can be problematic during the summer season.

Downland_Mineral Lick

 

For further information click here

 

Flydown

Fly problems?

Fly problems can occur any time between April and November, treat early to maximise success.

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Contains deltamethrin, POM-VPS. For further information see the SPC, farmers should contact their animal medicines supplier SQP, veterinary surgeon or Downland Marketing Ltd, 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW. Use medicines responsibly: www.noah.co.uk/responsible.

Downland Best Advice on Drenching:

SPOTCHEK is an animal identification marker system for accurate drenching – available now with promotional packs of Optigain Drench!

Remember to send us a photo of Spotchek being used on farm to claim your free Downland beanie hat and Optigain drenching wheel!
Photos can be sent via email: bestadvice@downland.co.uk or Facebook or Twitter

spotchek photo shoot 003 Picture 007

Benefits of SPOTCHEK:

  • SPOTCHEK eliminates drench duplication or omission
  • Cushions the animals mouth when drenching
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Can be used with a standard oral drench gun or capsule applicator
  • SPOTCHEK dye is non-toxic, harmless to the skin and scour-able (independently validated and endorsed)
  • Pack coverage – approximately 1500 livestock
Following a winter of extensive rainfall, grass quality and levels of energy will no doubt be affected. Optimized nutrition of Lambs at weaning, supplementing with a safe, high quality product will be vital to help maintain growth potential.

 

Optigain is a range of bioavailable trace element and multivitamin liquid nutritional supplements for livestock, containing a unique blend of natural antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and help promote growth and fertility.

 

Click here for more information on the product range or contact your local downland retailer.

Optigain; “I Never Looked Back”.

A working farm for over 100 years, Meikle Haddo Farm is nestled in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire. Managed for the past 20 years by husband and wife team Roddy and Fiona, the farm was originally started by Roddy’s great-grandfather. Meikle Haddo is currently home to more than 2000 hardy Shetland Cross ewes and more recently 100 Aberdeen Angus cattle.

Optigain 3

Their Ewes are split into three flocks; with lambing starting in April. Roddy trusts and believes in this system and every year it gives good results. Last year Roddy obtained a 175% scanning average from his ewes.

However, back in 2008 they were having problems with their lambs, particularly performance – firstly fluke issues and secondly post-weaning checks. Like many other farmers in Aberdeenshire they contacted Towns & Carnie for advice.

Optigain 2

After initial discussions it was realised that the sheep were receiving no form of additional supplementation, which is when they started using Optigain Sheep +Copper as it is strategically formulated to target the kind of issues (weaning lag) being faced at Meikle Haddo.

After Roddy started using Optigain in conjunction with their fluke product, the results were clear and he “never looked back”. He has been giving every lamb 10ml and has never seen the issues since, allowing him to sell store lambs year on year.

Optigain Sheep +Copper

Provides lambs at weaning with a comprehensive blend of vitamins and trace elements including a unique combination of selenium and natural vitamin E required for the support of growth, immune development and on-going performance.

Optigain is available from your local Downland retailer, click here further information or call 01228 564498 for further details.

 

 

Downland Calf Scour Range

Calf Scour is a frustratingly common disease experienced on the majority of cattle farms in the UK. The modern dairy farmer and beef suckler producer simply can’t afford the youngstock losses and growth setbacks caused by calf scour. Therefore, it is vital every
practical step is taken to give calves the best start in life and minimizing the potential impact of scour. Viruses and bacteria are major causes of infectious calf scours. The single biggest cause is rotavirus, but other viruses such as coronavirus, cryptosporidia
(a protozoan organism) and the bacteria E.coli K99 also cause problems. A number of these pathogens – particularly rotavirus and cryptosporidia – are present on most farms and often all they require is a trigger factor (eg. stress) to cause disease.

Fresh Start Improve – For optimum performance

Improve 2kg

What is Fresh Start Improve?
Improve is a unique combination of natural ingredients specially formulated to maximise calf growth, immune response and gut health.
Improve is a powder which is added to milk (fresh or replacer).

What Does Fresh Start Improve Do?
It maintains good gut health by reducing scour, thus improving calf growth.
By providing a unique source of antioxidants, Improve supports the whole immune system. Improve also supplies functional proteins directly to the gut wall, helping it to
develop fully to maximise calf growth and contains a unique source of DHA omega-3 essential for calf development.

Fresh Start Scourlyte – For acutely scouring calves

Unit Shot

Scourlyte is a revolutionary new product to help fight scour in calves, lambs and foals.
With it’s extremely fast acting formulation one administration is usually enough to stop
the scours in their tracks and start the calf on the road to recovery.

Fresh Start Scourlyte is not just another electrolyte. The unique astringent (binding up) qualities of Scourlyte means that, unlike many other oral diarrhoea sachets, scours are rapidly halted. Scourlyte also aids rehydration, corrects metabolic acidosis, and provides full nutritional support. Scourlyte is a complete aid to combat the symptoms of scour in one convenient sachet.

Fresh Start Recover – For the simple rehydration of calves

Product Front

What is Fresh Start Improve?

A dietetic complementary supplement for the stabilisation of water and electrolyte balance to support the physiological digestion. For oral use, to reverse the process of dehydration and electrolyte loss associated with scours in calves and pigs whether due to nutritional, bacterial or viral causes.
Recover is also indicated as an aid in recovery from pregnancy toxaemia and reversal of hypoglycaemia in sheep. Recover is available in liquid or powder form.

Click here to view the range in full.

Downland Optigain – Maintaining High Performance

In the historic grounds of Boughton House just outside Kettering, Mick Johnson has shepherded the 1,300 ewe flock on behalf of the Boughton Estate for the past 35 years. Working a New Zealand based management system, he strives towards achieving a premium at market from his commercial flock of Highlander/Aberfield & Texel crosses, reared almost completely outdoors on 1,000 acres of pasture within the 11,000 acre estate.

“Keeping the animals outside and maintaining high performance has been hard work in the last two seasons. The easy care system works in New Zealand but we miss the all-round weather. To get the best results and do it right they need a little more input, “states Mick. It is for this reason he chose Downland Optigain Sheep No Copper.

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The flock spends much of the autumn and winter feeding on low quality pasture from impoverished ground, Mick encourages a flush of fresh grass prior to tupping to try to provide better quality forage at such an imperative time. Fast growing grass combined with the high rainfall of late risks further poor mineral quality of the forage. To reduce the risk of a reduction in performance and to help lift condition Mick uses Optigain during the key periods of pre-tupping and pre-lambing and finds that condition is not a problem.

Optigain was chosen following a careful review of a number of products and their associated literature, as he also provides the flock with energy buckets strategically and Vit/Min buckets all year round as he remains conscious of the varying mineral contributions. Mick found Jonathon and Danielle from Cawdell Agrihealth had the best product in Optigain along with the important knowledge to support its use. “We can achieve a good balance of what is not in the grass while not tipping the balance towards providing too much” adds Mick.

This seasons Lambs are due at the end of March and Mick has started to look forward. “The ewes are in such good condition that we don’t expect any problems during lambing so I’m not concerned due to the breed. However, the new lambs will be kicking around on poor quality grass and we always see a general lag at weaning.” For this reason Mick will be making the most of his weeklong job of worming and fly control by taking the opportunity to feed Optigain as well.

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Driving amongst the flock Mick tells Danielle from Cawdell Agrihealth that due to the established breeding programme, the flocks condition and shape this year he is confident to achieve a high level of the desired 30p premium at market due to the overall animal quality and high class carcasses. Mick is aiming for Top Quartile Performance.

Optigain provides ewes and rams with key vitamins and trace elements required for support of optimal condition and will also support natural immunity via a unique combination of natural Vitamin E, Selenium and a full complement of nutrients required to help support on-going performance in:

Ewes

Rams

Lambs.

Optigain is available from your local Downland retailer, for further information click here  or call 01228 564498 for further details.

What our farmers have to say about Fresh Start Calf Colostrum

We have been using Fresh Start Calf Colostrum for a good few years now and we find it very convenient and easy to use, we like the fact that it is a one dose pack – just add warm water, shake and it’s ready to use, no measuring out, no room for error.

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We run approx. 180 breeding beef cows, a herd of 30 belted Welsh blacks and the remainder pedigree belted Galloway. All of the cows calve in either spring or autumn indoors, purely for ease of management, they are turned out soon after calving, depending on the weather. Every calf born regardless of whether it has sucked the cow or not receives a tub of colostrum as soon as possible after birth. We would not compromise on this procedure as it is a guarantee that the calf has received sufficient colostrum within the required time one way or another.

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The breeds of cow we keep are very maternal and protective of their calves, so if we had to try and get a cow into a crush to milk colostrum off her for her calf which hadn’t suckled or we weren’t sure if it had suckled, then it could be very dangerous.

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We have not found a product as good as Fresh Start to suit our circumstances and rate it very highly.

Deborah Powell, Beef Farmer, Worcester

Fresh Start Downguard Calf – Protecting the Herd

George & Jayne Davidson, with their son Craig, farm 850 acres in the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside. The farm, started back in the 1950s by George’s grandfather, is currently managed by both George and Craig. The Davidsons’ herd consists of 100 Commercial cattle and 25 purebred Limousin cattle, all serviced by their four impressive Limousin bulls.

testimonial 1

 

George has worked on the farm since 1977 and through the years has placed a large emphasis on the health and welfare of his herd. When the first vaccinations came out for Rotavirus he jumped at the chance to use them. However he found having to repeatedly administer the vaccine “not practical to use on farm”.

This is when George looked into alternative products that would be more practical to use and still bring the same health benefits.

testimonial 2

As a loyal customer of Downland retailer, Towns and Carnie, George sought their advice 5 years ago. As a result of their knowledge and expertise they suggested Fresh Start Downguard Calf.

Compared to the vaccines he found the paste much more user friendly & easier to administer. The product itself brought an extra layer of protection for the calf along with additional benefits.

It provides an insurance policy as well as key ingredients to support calves during this critical stage of life.

  • Coconut Oil – energy source
  • Prebiotics – stimulate beneficial gut bacteria
  • Egg Protein – support for gut function

George has so much confidence in the product that every calf born receives 30g from an easy to administer tube, within the first 12 hours. By providing this to every calf, he believes he is ensuring the calves get off to a good start in life.

The Davidsons are spring calvers and the yearlings are sold at Thainston auction mart, one of Europes largest auction marts (as seen on BBC One Scotland, in a documentary called “The Mart”).

testimonial 3

Currently the calves are born larger than normal, with average weights around 45-60 kg. The dams calve mostly unassisted which is a good sign of the herd health status. Calving occurs indoors between February and April and providing Downguard Calf at this time is a crucial management tool that George uses in the fight against the pathogens that grow and spread so quickly in this environment.

Fresh Start Downguard Calf is available from your local Downland retailer, for further information visit www.downland.co.uk or call 01228 564498 for further details.

Ewe milk in Lambforce lamb milk increases value of pet lambs

Coleraine farmers, Ian and Elaine Young are selling pet lambs to the factory as quick as lambs reared on ewes, thanks to the ewe milk in Downland Lambforce milk.

Ian and Elaine Young run a commercial sheep flock with 190 ewes and Elaine started a pedigree Texel flock last year. The main breeds in the commercial flock are Suffolk, Charollais, Texel and Cheviot.
Ian scans all his ewes in mid-Dec and hopes to be lambing by the 1st of March.  Due to off farm employment Lambing is kept compact and is normally over in two weeks. The lambing percentage last year was a healthy 176%.

Philip Anderson ( Steele Farm Supplies) with Ian and Elaine Young

All lambs get adequate quantities of colostrum then go on to a ewe or are fed Lambforce milk replacer feeds using a shepherdess feeder. Ian and Elaine find this a great labour saving device as they don’t need to feed the lambs with bottles multiple times a day. The milk is mixed at 250g of powder/ litre of water to ensure it is the same strength as ewe’s milk.  Downland Lambforce replacer can be used in most feeders with a free flow version for Britmix machines available if required.  The Young’s source Lambforce through local Downland merchant, Steele Farm Supplies in Ballymoney.

Ian is happy to keep the lambs on the milk replacer for a little while longer to make sure they are set up so they don’t have much of post weaning set back. It is important to ensure lambs are eating ration and have access to water before weaning.

According to Rachel Clarry of Downland, the ewe milk in Lambforce is sourced from ewe milked to produce Roquefort and Bleu d’Auvergne cheeses in France and is carefully dried to maximise the digestibility of the protein and to protect the antibodies in the milk.

In trials carried out with the National Animal Research Institute in France (INRA) the inclusion of ewe milk was compared to standard lamb milk containing a range of acids, essential oil or colostrum powders and was found to consistently produce better lambs with lower mortality, she added

Lambforce ewe milk replacer is made with 4 vegetable oils and plant extracts to keep lambs healthy and thriving. Ian even noticed the difference with the Lambforce and said that the milk replacer is very easily mixed with no problems.

Ian was thrilled at the pet lamb performance and at the end of the day his pet lambs were worth a lot more than what they used to be. Ian sends his lambs straight to the factory and was thrilled that the lambs fed on the Lambforce milk replacer did just as well as the lambs on the ewes.

Downland is a national network of independent distributors which supplies a wide range of animal health products under the Downland brand. They are sourced directly from the manufacturer, enabling the company to provide best quality and keep prices competitive.

“Local, independent advice enables us to work closely with farmers customers to help productivity of their enterprises” says Rachel Clarry, Downland Marketing.

Downland Lamb Force Freeflow cuts workload and increases lamb performance

A fat lamb enterprise has cut its daily workload at lambing by four hours and improved triplet growth rates after feeding a high quality milk replacer made from ewe milk.

The Potter family was confronted with a major challenge after their flock of 450 ewes scanned at 203%. Martin Potter lambs 5

Faced with 100 sets of triplets, they invested in an automatic feeder and paired it with Downland Lamb Force Freeflow replacer.

Martin Potter, who farms with his brother, Richard, and son, Tom, at Stanford Bishop, Herefordshire, says Downland Lamb Force Freeflow was an undisputed choice because of its ewe milk composition. John Paske, of R.M. Jones Agricultural Chemists, introduced the family to the product.

Martin Potter and John Paske 1

The feeding system has significantly reduced the workload at Stanford Court and speeded up the system of turning out ewes and lambs.

“We used to have to feed the lambs by hand two or three times a day and when you took into account mixing the product this took us four hours a day,’’ says Richard.

“Feeding Downland Lamb Force Freeflow has allowed us to take one triplet off the ewe quicker and to turn the ewe and two remaining lambs out when the grass is there and this means we have more pens available.’’

Previously, there could be up to 30 pens of triplets at any one time. “We were slower turning them out of the pen because we knew it would mean extra feeding at a time when we were already at full stretch,’’ Martin explains.

The health status of the 42 lambs reared on Downland Lamb Force Freeflow this year has been exceptional. “We have had no cases of scour and the general health status is very good,’’ says Martin.

The flock of Suffolk x Mule and Texel x Mule ewes is crossed with a Charollais, Beltex or Texel tup. Lambing gets underway on February 25th.

Martin Potter lambs 1

Lambs stay with their mothers for between 24 and 48 hours to ensure they get an adequate intake of colostrum. One of the triplets is then moved into the pen with the automatic feeder. “They get the milk replacer ad lib, it replicates how the lamb would feed on the ewe,’’ says Martin.

The performance of the machine-reared triplets has been phenomenal. “One farmer who saw the lambs this year made the comment that they looked like they were on steroids, they looked absolutely fantastic and none of them had pot bellies,’’ says Martin.

“It has enabled the lambs to come into the flock at a similar level to the others so we are not left with stragglers.’’

Achieving good daily liveweight gains has never been more important at a time when lamb prices are under increasing pressure.

The Potters sell lambs from the beginning of June – either to Dunbia at a target deadweight of 20.5kg or live through Hereford Livestock Market. “We try to get our best performers off at 12 weeks,’’ says Martin.

He has no intention of switching from Downland Lamb Force Freeflow. “Now we have taken that step there is no going back.’’

Lamb Force Ewe Milk Replacer

Lamb Force Web Bannner

Ewe milk-based replacer raises orphan lamb growth rates

Typically orphan lambs have been reared on milk -replacer made with dried cow’s milk but now farmers have a choice as they can purchase a milk replacer made with ewe milk.

Lamb Force is sourced from ewes milked to produce Roquefort and Manchego cheeses in France and Spain. The ewe’s milk is carefully dried to maximise the digestibility of the protein and to protect the antibodies in the milk. The improved flavour and natural antibodies have been shown, in the right formula, to improve lamb growth rates.

Rachel Clarry of Downland Marketing says: “Lamb Force is a by-product of the French and Spanish cheese making sectors”, explains. “French and Spanish farmers milk sheep to produce cheeses such as Roquefort and Manchego and we use the by-products from this process to produce our lamb milks”.

“The products are high in ewe milk protein, particularly those that carry antibodies to disease. It is in these proteins, along with a special blend of plant extracts, which give Lamb Force its performance advantage she says. “Lambs prefer it as it is just like the milk they would get naturally from their mothers.”

The easy to mix formula, can be fed warm or cold through bottles, tubs or machine adlib feeders. It is available in 5kg and 10kg tubs or 20kg bags.

For more information on Lamb Force Ewe Milk Replacer click here.

 

Making provisions for support of Maternal Colostrum

New-born Calves & Lambs should receive colostrum before pathogens get the chance to infect them. To achieve this, it is essential that the 4 Q’s (Quickly, Quantity, Quality and Quietly) are considered to meet the neonatals colostrum demand.

Usually the dam provides adequate colostrum, however on a number of occasions this is not the case:

  • Inadequate nutrition of the dam prior to giving birth – Quality and Quantity of colostrum are negatively affected by poor energy and protein supply in the last third of gestation. Risks to the dam or lamb/calf include deficiencies in key vitamins, trace elements, immune proteins or fat.
  • Inadequate environmental conditions – Quick and Quiet colostrum ingestion can be impacted as overcrowded, cold, wet, harsh surroundings increase exposure to disease. Poor conditions decrease the probability of adequate colostrum consumption as severely stressed, soaked offspring struggles to maintain their own internal temperature to get to the dam and feed.

Downland’s New ProZest concept has been developed with this in mind, to provide farmers with the peace of mind in:

pro zest formulation logo

All of the formulations strengths remain. The product has been reformulated however, to balance the overall protein contribution in favour of colostrum proteins, while improving product mixing. This is achieved by reducing non colostrum whey protein which would normally compete in the calves/lambs gut and reduce effective uptake of beneficial proteins.

  • The correct balance of proteins in favour of natural colostrum sources. – Improved efficacy achieved from maximising the globular protein available by reducing competition from other protein components.
  • Adequate protein from natural colostrum sources – better blend of ingredients enabling an easier mixing product, achieved using expertise and protocols from human baby milk manufacturing operations.
  • Easy mixing ingredients.

Use Lamb Force and Fresh Start Colostrums, formulated to ProZest, for the following benefits:

Downland group lamb col Downland group calf col

  • Increase the proportion of colostrum from freeze dried natural sources, helping reduce potential competition for absorption from other non-colostrum protein.
  • Scanning of the product batches for colostrum proteins helps ensure adequate supplementary levels.

Ingredient inclusions are balanced to help ensure easy mixing of the product to allow quick application.

“ProZest signifies a balanced fusion of essential colostrum protein from easily digestible sources, helping provide lambs and calves the Zest for life in one easy mix formula”

NEW Product Range: Opti-Lix Low

A NEW range of low moisture licks from Downland. Opti-Lix offers sheep, beef and dairy farmers a highly palatable hardened product designed to supplement grazing or forage based rations. Opti-Lix contains a blend of molasses, vegetable oil and proteins and is balanced with vitamins and minerals. It provides a continuous nutrient source for cattle, sheep and lambs fed with ad lib forage and grazing.

Opti-Lix High Energy 20kg Opti-Lix Cattle Balancer 20kg Opti-Lix Cattle Magnesium 20g

New Product: Downland Essential Trace Element Bolus Range

The new Downland essential trace element boluses feature the latest erosion dispersal technology to ensure your cattle, ewes and lambs get the vital nutrients they need for optimum health and performance at all times.

DL Essential Sheep DL Essential Cattle

 

Click here to view the full range of products.

New Downland Product – RATTA Extra Grain

Ratta Extra Grain

0.005% Brodifacoum. Single feed grain mix of cut wheat and whole wheat. Ratta +Extra grain set

Ratta Extra Grain is a new unique formulation combining both cut wheat and whole wheat together with the highly effective active ingredient Brodifacoum to ensure that Downland members can offer their customers a unique and highly palatable product for the control of rats and mice.

Brodifacoum is a single feed active and will control infestations faster than other multi feed ingredients as well as targeting any rat infestations which have built up a slight resistance to multi feed actives.

Click here to view further product information or alternatively, contact your local Downland retailer.

Downland Franchisees Achieve Gold Standard!

Congratulations to Anna Butler, Mike Foster and Hayley Wood from Downland Franchise Green’s Farm Supplies. They have all achieved Gold Standard SQP (Suitably Qualified Person) status in an industry-wide recognised scheme.  The Gold Standard SQP scheme has been created for SQPs who want to go the extra mile to further their training by attending events and completing technical training modules. Downland franchisees providing best advice to our farmers!

anna and ted mike haylesy gold

Congratulations Jobsons Animal Health

Congratulations to Downland Franchise Jobsons Animal Health – All of their field sales representatives are now Nutritionalist Registered!

Having completed a comprehensive course covering all aspects of animal nutrition, all of Jobsons field sales representatives are now qualified to provide approved nutritional advice to all of their farmers. Phil Jobson, Jobsons Animal Health commented ‘Jobsons Reps now have a much broader knowledge and experience than any other animal health specialist in our area’.

Jobsons

 

The course was initiated by Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) and only those completing the course are Approved on the Feed Advisor Register (FAR). Congratulations to Guy Old, Laura Charnock, Pauline Tyson, Joe Langcake, Wick Wilson, Alan Whittam, Les Barker, Dave Walker and Phil Jobson.

Know what you’re fighting and win the war on scour

Know the demon you’re dealing with in under 20 minutes!

Eradicating scour from any farm is notoriously difficult owing to the number of ways it is caused, but if you know what’s causing scour on your farm, you can deal with it. That’s where the Ark Quatro Detection Kit comes in.

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It’s a simple ‘5 Step’ on-farm test kit that allows you to test for the cause of scour yourself in under 20 minutes. The Ark Quatro Detection Kit will identify if it is one of the four main causes of scour you have on your farm; Rotavirus, Ecoli, Cryptosporidium or Cornona virus. So keep one handy during the calving season and know the devil you’re dealing with.

Available exclusively from Downland in the UK.

Great Day at Green’s Farm Supplies Lambing and Calving Event

Downland franchise Green’s Farm Supplies had a very busy day at Thirsk Market on the 12th February where 55 of their farmers enjoyed a free mart lunch courtesy of Greens!

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Their farmers also benefited from Rumenco’s David Thornton’s presentation on ewe nutrition and preventing twin lamb disease. The farmers who attended received good advice from the many trade stands on show including Downland Lamb Milk – now made with ewe’s milk. Congratulations to Green’s on what sounds like a great day!

Ewe milk in Downland Lamb Force keeps lambs healthy

Lambs reared on Downland Lamb Force milk replacer have achieved a £5 a head price premium.

The product had appealed to Rob and Lucy Atkinson because it is made from ewes’ milk. They run a flock of 800 ewes at Richmond, North Yorkshire, and had discovered the Downland Lamb Force at their local Downland Franchise Green’s Farm Supplies.

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They fed it to their lambs and the results were evident when they sold a group of Beltex x Mule lambs at Thirsk Market. The lambs were sold for £5 a head more than the price average that day.  The Atkinson’s also topped the market with their cade lambs.

They have also sold cade tup lambs off the farm and achieved a top price of £500 per tup.

The Atkinson’s farm 1250 acres at Beck Hill Farm, an enterprise that includes 1800 pigs, 1000 acres of arable, 200 store cattle and 800 ewes.

They have doubled numbers each year since they bought the farm in 2009. They plan to double numbers again this year and their ultimate goal is to sell 100 tups at markets across the north of the UK.

The couple lamb 70 pure Beltex and Texel ewes in February followed by Mule x Beltex ewes in March. Last of all, in April, 100 Swaledale x Leicester ewes and 150 Mule x Texel hogs are lambed.

All ewes are scanned prior to lambing to identify the animals carrying triplets and twins. “It is imperative to ensure that all lambs get the best start they can. They will then go onto thrive,’’ said Rob.

He starts the cade lambs off on Lamb Force from a bottle. When numbers increase, they are fed through a shepherdess feeder.

Rachel Clarry, Downland Marketing, said ‘Lamb Force can easily be fed through a shepherdess feeder’. She said the ewes’ milk in Lamb Force kept lambs healthy. ‘Lamb Force is also made with four vegetable oils and plant extracts to minimise clostridia bloat and scour in lambs,’ she said. ‘Orphan lambs are often prone to these problems as they have not received enough colostrum at birth’.

It is vital to set up a routine for new born lambs

Everyone involved in lambing should follow the same routine and be provided with the necessary equipment close to hand.

• Has it sucked?
• Navel treated?
• Is navel dry and healed?
• Have mother and lamb(s) bonded?
• Is it marked/tagged?
• Was colostrum fed?
• Are castration and tail docking necessary? If so, has lamb recovered?

It is best practice to spray a ewe’s number on her back or side for easy identification. The same number can be put on the lambs’ backs so that ewe-lamb pairs can easily be identified.

Lambs should only be turned out if:
• They are dry
• They are sucking well
• They are well-bonded to their mother
• The weather is not cold, wet and windy
• The ewe has an adequate milk supply.

Take your time and turn out small groups and watch them mother up before leaving them. Put some form of common mark on each family group turned out and have plenty of spray marker paint available!

Premium-Stock-Marker-www

The Downland premium stock Marker Spray is a tried and tested product and is an excellent choice for farmers who are looking for a spray that is long-lasting, vibrant and above all high in quality and cost effective.

For further information please contact your local Downland Distributor or the Downland Team on tel: 01228 564498 or email bestadvice@downland.co.uk

ITS LIKE MOTHER’S MILK

Lamb Force ewe milk replacer is made with ewe’s milk, unlike most lamb milk replacers that only use cow’s milk. Which would ewe prefer?

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Lamb Force easy to mix formula, containing 4 oils including coconut and soya to maximise digestibility, can be fed warm or cold through bottles, tubs or machine adlib feeders. Available in 5kg/10kg tubs or 20kg bags.

For further information please contact your local Downland Distributor or the Downland Team on tel: 01228 564498 or email bestadvice@downland.co.uk

Lamb Force Premium Colostrum

Lamb-Force-Colostrum

Immunity; the partner of profit

The first few hours are a critical part of a lamb’s life. It is at this time that a good quality and volume of colostrum is required to supply young animals with the vital immunity and nutrients needed to protect themselves from bacteria and other pathogens as they grow and develop.

Immunity gained from colostrum is called passive immunity, which means it is received from outside of the body. This is gained from the consumption of colostrum rich in specialised proteins called immunoglobulin’s (Ig), these are transported into the animal from the gut through the gut wall, as part of a strict time bound absorption process. Time is therefore paramount to achieve a good standard of protection, because from birth the guts ability to absorb these larger proteins reduces with every passing hour, reaching complete closure at approximately 24 hours. As a result it is recommended that colostrum be supplied within the first 6hrs while the gut is still largely open to transport the proteins.

cute lambs in spring

Focus On Fat

Reflecting on the wet summer and now the cold and wet winter it is easy to say “I’m glad I’m not out there,” in the majority of cases however this is exactly where newborn lambs take their first breath. Thermoregulation, or the ability to maintain its own internal temperature, is obviously very important for the lambs and as a result, early requirement are not limited to the Ig. In colostrum there is a good supply of energy in the form of carbohydrates and fat to supplement the limited reserves of internal fat the animal has available when it is born. To explain a little further, the provision of energy both early in life and again within 48 hours will help kick-start the lamb’s own thermogenesis (production of its own heat from nutrients) and maintain body temperature, helping to support good early growth while increasing the chances of survival.

Whether it is maternal colostrum, or a colostrum supplement or a replacer product; feeding a plentiful amount of high quality colostrum as soon as possible after birth will provide lambs with essential proteins to help support establishment of a healthy immune system.  Together with this, other nutritive components like energy, vitamins and minerals complement the beneficial effects of protein within a good colostrum, making the choice to have superior colostrum management practice on farm an easy one!

For further information please contact your local Downland Distributor or the Downland Team on tel: 01228 564498 or email bestadvice@downland.co.uk

Downland Vigour

A complete food specially formulated for working dogs.

Vigour is a complete working food for dogs with tasty chicken and rice. A high quality, highly digestible all round dog food, made with high quality meat proteins and whole grain cereals, Vigour is ideal for hard working farm dogs and pet dogs alike.

KD2200 Downland Vigour Working Dog 15kgshutterstock_42852484

Key benefits are –

  • Highly Digestible Protein and Carbohydrate Formulas
  • Nutritionally Balanced Diet
  • High Quality Meat Proteins
  • Wholegrain Cereals
  • Added Vitamins & Minerals
  • No Added Artificial Flavours
  • No Added Sugar or Salt
  • Proven Formula

Additional benefits are –

  • VAT Free
  • 15kg Bulk Bag
  • Manufactured in the UK

Sheep Natural Energy – HIGHLY RATED BY LESTER PEEL

For pedigree Suffolk producer Lester Peel, Sheep Natural Energy has become a ‘must-have’ ewe feed supplement every year in the run up to lambing.

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Well known in the Great Yorkshire Show ring, Lester and his wife Sue run a small flock of 35 Suffolk ewes plus few Hereford cross, spring calving suckler cows at Greystone Farm, Over Silton, near Thirsk on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. Lambing starts on Christmas day on this upland unit and is usually complete by the middle of February.

“We introduce Sheep Natural Energy buckets about eight weeks pre-lambing while the ewes are at grass on the hill. Then around two to three weeks out they come inside onto good quality hay and the supplement. I really rate Sheep Natural Energy because since we’ve been feeding it we’ve never had a case of twin lamb disease. Ewes also seem to lamb more easily and ewe milk production is also so good that I’m regularly able to freeze some in case we need to rear the odd lamb on the bottle,” Lester says.

Male lambs are reared for the pedigree ram sales with females providing the flock breeding replacements. “We sell very little finished lamb – apart from the odd one for our own freezer – but being a closed flock our rearing system works perfectly.”

Reaching New Heights With Optigain Nutritional Supplements From Downland

Optigain Poster Fnal

Standing at the foot of Dartmoor prison wall at 1400ft, Neil Cole’s historic farm is within one of the highest and most challenging areas of Dartmoor. Neil, multiple winner in 2014’s Devon County Show for his Bluefaced Leicester Sheep and achiever of Top Price and overall champion in 2013 at the Tavistock sale for his Blueface Leicester’s puts these gains down to his proactive approach to management and nutrition.  Neil says, “Using Optigain from our local Downland merchant allows me to maintain mineral levels in my ewes and lambs. I feel this gives me the edge on fertility and condition to get the best from my animals, and the results speak for themselves.”

Neil’s flock of 1800 Swale Dale and Blackface Ewes, 500 ewe lambs and 50 Blue Face Leicester’s are kept in and around the peat rich areas of a deep natural basin where rainfall can reach multiples meters per year. “This type of soil combined with the high rainfall leaves the ground soft and of very poor mineral content, analysis for Selenium, Copper and Cobalt have shown near zero of late in the local area.” To reduce the risk of reduction in performance and to help lift condition Neil uses Optigain during the key periods of tupping, pre-lambing and post lambing in lambs and it is this practice which has contributed to increasing weaning percentages of up to 150% in the hill ewes.

Neil, an active member of the South West Mule Group (www.southwestmulegroup.co.uk) started using Optigain following periods of poor success using alternative products. He made the change as he needed a high specification product which flowed readily through a variety of drench applicators. On making the change his positioning at competition level moved up a gear from repeated Top 3 positioning for 14 years to Top 2 and above in the last 3 years. “Knowing now that the product contains Vitamin E from Natural sources could explain a thing or two.” Says Neil.

Optigain Press Release

** Neil (second from right) shows off his multiple prize winning Bluefaced Leicesters at the Devon County with daughter Ida  (second from left).

Optigain is available from your local Downland Distributor, locate yours at www.downland.co.uk.

Optigain provides ewes and rams with key vitamins and trace elements required for optimal condition and will also help improve fertility. Optigain is aimed at boosting performance and optimising immune status via a unique combination of natural Vitamin E, Selenium and a full complement of nutrients required to help support on-going performance in:

–       Ewes

–       Rams

–       Lambs

Optigain is nutritionally balanced, designed to assist with:

  • Performance
  • Production
  • Fertility
  • Reducing incidence of disease challenge for ewes and rams

Optigain is specifically formulated to provide a range of:

  • Bio-available vitamins and trace elements
  • Natural antioxidants
  • Natural sources of Vitamin E

BLITZ setting the standard

BLITZ

Disinfection for all surfaces and equipment.

Use at 1 part in 250 parts of water or 1 in 125 in serious conditions with high risk (4 or 8ml per litre of clean water).  Treat all surfaces in the lambing area.  It is safe to re-stock immediately or to spray round ewes and lambs.  Re-spray pens between lambing’s.

 

Use BLITZ at 1 part in 250 to disinfect teats and bottles; drain but do not rinse.

Worm and Fluke Control

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Worm and Fluke Control

Albacert 2.5% SC oral drench available from Downland distributors.

For cattle and sheep, the broad spectrum, multi-purpose anthelmintic for the control of mature and developing immature forms of gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworms, tapeworms and adult liver fluke.  Albacert is also ovicidal against fluke and roundworm eggs.

Albacert also contains selenium and cobalt as a nutritional supplement.

Albacert is available in 2.5ltr and 10Ltr pack sizes.

For further information on Albacert please contact your local Downland distributor, or the Downland Team on 01228 564498 or email bestadvice@downland.co.uk

Lamb Force Premium Colostrum

Lamb-Force-Colostrum

Lamb Force Premium Colostrum

Your lamb’s first premium colostrum feed

Antioxidants – Natural Vitamin E – Increased availability to support a developing immune system by reducing the risk of damage from free radicals.  The natural source of Vitamin E also helps protect productive tissue cells, for growing and vigour.

Gut Conditioning – A stable gut micro flora is essential for the digestion of nutrients.  Functional fibre ingredients help natural micro flora to colonise and stabilise the active gut.

Fats – Fat is the primary nutrient which supports lamb survival during the winter months by providing energy for thermo-regulation.  The additional energy from colostrum supplies the fuel to keep the animals warm.

Contact your local Downland Distributor for further information

Sheep Natural Energy

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Sheep Natural Energy

Feed to all breeding ewes from tupping through to lambing.

Use to help finish lambs quicker

  • Quality protein sources including Hi Pro soya, to support colostrum and milk supply.
  • Elevated vitamin E & Selenium, including Sel-Plex to optimise the immune function, help protect against disease and ease the lambing process.
  • Added omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil, to optimise fertility and thrifty lambs.

For further information, please contact your local Downland Distributor or the Downland Team on 01228 564498 or bestadvice@downland.co.uk

Downland Premium Stock Marker Spray

Premium-Stock-Marker-www

 

Approved by the British Wool Marketing Board, Downland Stock Marker Spray will provide farmers with a reliable sheep marking solution.

Weather resistant and fully scourable

Rapid drying formulation

Works on both wet and dry fleeces

Downland Vigour Working Dog 15kg

KD2200 Downland Vigour Working Dog 15kg

 

Complete food specially formulated for Working Dogs

High Quality Meat Proteins

Chicken & Rice formula

Available in 15kg Bags

Sheep Natural Energy

Sheep Natural Energy

Sheep Natural Energy

Sheep Natural Energy is a unique and specially formulated feed supplement to be fed to ewes to boost energy and protein supply during the critical tupping to lambing period.

The high energy dense formulation will help meet the ewes considerable demand for energy pre-post lambing, and will assist in combating twin lamb disease.

Available as a 25kg lick or a 100kg lick

 

 

Robonex

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Robonex is the second generation eprinomectin pour on treatment for worms and external parasites.

ROBONEX POUR-ON- Ideal for lactating dairy cows. For the treatment and control of gastro-intestinal roundworms, lungworm, warbles, sucking and biting lice and mange mites.

 1ml/10kg
 Milk withdrawal 0 days

 

Downland Licks The Competition at Suffolk Show

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Jason & Katharine Salisbury were proud to win first place with their pedigree Guernsey cow at this years Suffolk Show, she was also awarded two special awards.

Jason says “We are proud to say that her diet for the past 18 months has been supplemented with Downland Feed Licks supplied by our local Downland Distributor Farm & Country. Jason’s pedigree herd all benefit from the Downland range of minerals and feed supplements, and Jason believes that their wonderful condition is a direct result of this supplementation.

Jason has over 20 years experience of the dairy industry, and his wife Katharine is a qualified Veterinary Surgeon. Following the dispersal of the dairy farm in Coddenham where Jason was herdsman, they decided to follow their dream of running their own dairy herd and producing cheese and 2004 saw the birth of “Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses”.

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses