New feed formula pays off

Building on an already strong foundation, a new formulation of Springer 16 lead feed grain mix is delivering further improved health and productivity improvements in herds across Victoria.             

Reid Stockfeeds has incorporated the latest knowledge on feeding to support cows through a successful transition from dry cow to high-performing milker.

“Our aim with the Springer 16 reformulation was to improve the transition outcomes on farm, knowing the end gain would be improved production and profitability,” Reid Stockfeeds senior nutritionist Kelly Slattery said.

“The new formulation delivers increased levels of magnesium and vitamin D, in the form of Hy D, a more bio active form of vitamin D.

“Both magnesium and vitamin D support the cow's natural system of upregulating calcium absorption from their feed – and the release of calcium from bones into the bloodstream.

“Fewer milk fever cases in the herd mean better cow health, reproduction and production outcomes.

“A cow with milk fever is also at greater risk of other metabolic disease – such as ketosis – and is likely to take longer to get back in calf.”

Other changes to Springer 16 include increased levels of vitamins A and E as well as higher rates of trace minerals, including copper, cobalt, zinc, selenium and manganese.

Adjustments have been made to the chloride and sulphur ions that contribute to the -1000 mEq/kgDM dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD).

“We added flavours and sweeteners to the feed and the cows love it,” Ms Slattery said.

Back on the farm, the benefits are being realised, with farmers using Springer 16 enjoying a relatively stress-free calving season.

“We’re yet to have a single call out this year.”

Tom Wright, another Springer 16 convert from the same region said his farm had not finished calving and had already saved a minimum of $1500 in vet bills compared to last year.

“And that’s excluding medication, which has been a significant expense previously,” he added.

After giving birth, Springer 16 mothers are returning to the milking shed faster, providing a welcome boost to the farmer’s bottom line.

“Mr Bakker said the benefits from the reformulated Springer 16 feed are being passing from mother to calf, both in and out of the womb.

“This year we’ve been selling our five-day old bull calves at 40kg plus. But calves not exposed to Springer 16 weigh closer to 35kg.”

Mr Wright said “once you’ve factored in lower vet costs, no cow deaths at calving and a very low number of issues with the calves, the costs of Springer 16 become a non-issue”.

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