Using Rehydion Gel means we can keep scouring calves on milk
John Traynor, Dunmoe, Navan, Co. Meath
- John Traynor farms in partnership with his brother and runs a busy mixed farm in the Boyne Valley in Dunmoe. Milking 60 cows on an Autumn/Spring calving system plus growing cereals means that the workload is busy all year round.
- Calf rearing is a critical area on the farm, we don’t need any setbacks. That's why we use Rehydion Gel to treat calves that may show signs of scour. It's very effective, and quick to use, at the first sign of scour I add 40 ml into the milk for 3-4 feeds and within 2 days the calf is flying again.
- I never have any set back in performance, which is the key. I used to use other products that needed mixing in warm water and I had to run back and forward to the dairy, now I just have the bottle on stand by and I can dose straight into the milk at the first sign of scour.
- The electrolyte can be used in milk, and is quick and handy. According to AHI the best way to treat scour was to use something that worked with milk.
- We supply Lakeland dairies and we need to ensure we have quality replacements heifers coming through, The farm is averaging 1400 gallons and we try to breed a good solid cow, not too extreme. We rear all the calves and use AI and a stock bull. The animal’s comfort is key on this farm; all animals including the cows are on straw bedded sheds.
2016 Young Farmer of the Year and 2015 Nuffield Scholar believes in Rehydion Gel
Kevin Moran Western Winner of the Young Farmer of the Year 2016 – Photo credit Farmers Journal
Kevin Moran, a 22 year old dairy farmer, 2013 Teagasc/FBD student of the year and current 2015 Nuffield Scholar, milks 110 cows in Co. Galway. His cows are all spring calving, starting from early February to match production with grass growth. His turnout date is 5th February and mean calving date is 23rd February. Kevin is always focusing on improving efficiency, and sees the two biggest drivers going forward as the six week calving rate and tonnes of dry matter utilised per hectare. Kevin’s farm stocking rate is 2.7LU/Ha. and he utilised 10.8 tonnes of dry matter per hectare for 2014.
Kevin’s drive for efficiency on his farm was recognised by the prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, a life changing opportunity for Kevin. The Nuffield Scholarship is awarded to a select few, typically agricultural sector leaders and innovators of the future, to develop them into effective leaders that will promote positive change in the agriculture industry.
Calving is a busy time for Kevin. He pays particular attention to ensuring that every
calf is fed 3 litres of colostrum within 1 hour of birth. Heifer calves will get 3 feeds of colostrum within 24 to 36 hours. Making sure calves drink sufficient quality colostrum goes a long way to getting them off to a good start and avoiding most scours. Calves are fed a good quality milk replacer and have access to hay and adlib water. Kevin says “Having a bad outbreak of scours would be devastating, not just on the finances but also with the stress it puts on everyone and the lost ground on average daily live weight gain. We’ve had no nutritional scours since we’ve been using Rehydion Gel and any indication of scours is kept at bay before it hits hard. The real benefit of Rehydion Gel is that it allows us to keep the calves on their food. In my experience, taking them off their milk is detrimental, and things only go downhill from there.”
Kevin goes onto say “Rehydion Gel works wonders if given at the early stage of
Rehydion Gel without delay. If you catch it early they are usually right after a day.”
Rehydion Gel can be administered in a number of ways; directly to milk, using a throat syringe or, in sucklers can be administered neat down the throat from the bottle in 40ml doses twice daily for 2 days. Calves can be kept on milk as Rehydion Gel doesn’t inhibit milk clotting and indeed aids digestion. Plus with no need to separate the calf from its dam, it is the ideal solution to help calves recover rapidly from scours with little disturbance to their routine and that of the whole calving system.
Kevin continues “Efficiency is key to running my dairy herd system going forward and we need as little disturbance as possible. I always have a few bottles of Rehydion Gel at the ready. It’s an essential product now for me during the calving period. It’s amazing stuff. Starving a sick animal was never the ideal situation. I’m delighted to have found a product which can be fed diluted in milk or milk powder. A sick calf gets the immediate benefit of electrolytes in the gel yet still has milk as source of energy for weight gain.”
Kevin ensures all heifer calves reach their genetic potential; all calves are weaned
from milk at 120kg and eating 2kg of meal. Kevin’s weaning management is determined by weight not age.
Kevin is supplying to Aurivo Co-op who are sponsoring his Nuffield Scholarship where he will visit South America, Australia, New Zealand, France and South Africa.
Kevin is also a focus famer under Aurivo’s farm profitability programme. Kevin first heard about Rehydion Gel from his local Aurivo Homeland Store.Jonathan Clarke, Interchem/PharVet’s Western Territory Manager says “Continued milk feeding also aids gut healing and provides natural antimicrobial actions and Animal Health Ireland recommends that nutritional scour calves are not deprived of milk.”
Rehydion Gel is available from vets, farm supply shops, Agri-merchants and Co-ops.
Rehydion Gel is distributed by Interchem Ireland Limited.