Home' Smart Farmer : September 2010 Contents September 2010
Some non-mainstream breeds
provide limited opportunities for
ram or bull sales and are not cost-
Rodney also stressed the impor-
tance of being patient and buying
top-quality breeding stock from dis-
persal sales rather than simply buy-
ing other stud's surplus for
replacement females, which take too
long to improve.
Hanookra also uses an indepen-
dent classer, Leigh Allan, a former
Elders stud stock auctioneer, to lot
up the sale catalogue, and keep
informed on potential new genetics
for the stud.
Marketing is an important part of
gaining new clients and retaining
old ones with a combination of
newspaper advertising, websites and
client newsletters used by many pro-
Rodney says showing can be
another good way of gaining stud
exposure, and Hanookra will be
making its sheep showing debut for
the Border Leicester feature breed
judging at the Royal Adelaide Show.
However, he acknowledges it can
be very expensive paying for mem-
berships and entry fees, buying the
necessary showing equipment, trail-
ers and canopies to transport the
livestock, and the extra feed needed
to get the sheep or cattle to showring
"It is a great value-add, we can run
fewer stud stock and it is equivalent
to a fully stocked commercial enter-
"We are able to sell rams up to
$1000 to $1200 and average around
$500 instead of $120 or so for
lambs, so it is our way of improving
our bottom line."
• Need to know more?
big work commitment WELL, another Eyre Peninsula Field
Day is over. Cold, wet, windy condi-
tions did not deter locals and trav-
ellers from attending what was a very
informative three days. It is a long
way to go, but worth the effort.
As usual, we were kept quite busy
planning protocols and strategies for
the next phase of production: spring.
With excellent rains, good sub soil
moisture, warming conditions and
improving pasture growth -- fantastic!
Well, if it's so good, why is it we
see a host of animal production prob-
Just when we think we have made
it through the cold stressful winter
conditions, we start to notice that our
rapidly growing pastures, particularly
legume-based, are having an adverse
effect on grazing livestock.
We often spring into action too
late. I have already had numerous
calls about tetany, bloat, redgut and
pulpy kidney. We all need to devote
time to discuss and learn about
clostridial vaccination techniques and
The bulk of problems lie with the
lush, quick-growing feeds we normal-
ly see in spring, which are commonly
associated with relatively high levels
of potassium, calcium, nitrogen and
sometimes higher levels of sodium.
During this phase the pasture returns
less or inadequate amounts of simple
sugar (carbohydrate), magnesium and
fibre. Most often we see some very
early signs of metabolic disorders
such as grass tetany or staggers. This
condition is caused by a deficiency of
magnesium in the bloodstream which
is often induced by certain stress fac-
tors such as transport, mustering,
yarding, or extreme weather condi-
tions. Grazing lush or grass-dominant
pastures, particularly in frosty condi-
tions, along with elevated potassium
and high soluble nitrogen content, all
contribute to unreliable blood magne-
sium levels. Most graziers also see
problems with quick growing or very
high quality legume-based pastures,
and end up dealing with a 'redgut'
problem. When nitrate levels are
high, give an injection of A,D and E
as a starting point:
• Make sure the animal has access
to good quality cereal based hay. I
prefer oaten type hays that have
good carbohydrate levels.
• Supply a quality mineral supple-
ment that is a source of palatable
macro and trace elements, high in
magnesium with good levels of sul-
phur, calcium and trace elements.
These products can be fed as a lick,
or applied to hay, and need to be
• Don't muster hard. Leave the
dogs in the ute, allow the animals to
walk at their own pace.
• Don't yard without access to hay
and supplement, even for short peri-
ods fasting can exacerbate some
• Keep some 4-in-1 metabolic solu-
tion on hand.
• Make sure you seek vet advice
when stock are affected.
• Need to know more?
Compass Feeds 08 8556 8332 or
Rodney Willmott, Hanookra Border Leicester and Poll Dorset
stud, Lucindale says stud breeding has improved the bottom line
of their 400 hectare property, but is a much larger workload than
a commercial enterprise.
Conditions say it must be spring
• from previous page
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