BioStart RUMINANT – Gerard ‘Moose’ Stephen Case Study
Gerard ‘Moose’ Stephen is a very progressive farmer who trialed Ruminant, a New Zealand-made digestive product formulated to boost stock at important times such as weaning, marking, pre-lambing and feed changes. Moose was looking for potential productivity improvements at Warrane north west of Armidalei NSW, where he is manager. The sheep and cattle station has 20,000 merino sheep, specializing in super fine Merino IN’OOI, and 2000 Angus cattle.
WEANER WEIGHT GAIN
Moose treated all hi:s Merino weaners and x-bred lambs in 2011. This has turned out to be a great result. Moose was so impressed by how the weaners went straight on to feed as they were let out – instead of losing weight in the first few weeks of weaning, they gained weight from the start. The stockmen at Warrane were also impressed by the weaners being so easy to handle. The other bi-g bonus was no dags or scouring. What really boosted the weaners’ go-ahead was the second dose, two to three weeks later and another big win was less tail in the weaners.
FLEECE WEIGHT AND BRIGHTNESS
Moose and his classer, Brian Fittler were impressed with the brightness of the wool – best ever at Warrane. Weight gains in the wool will be monitored in 2012.
EASY TO SETTLE LAMBS AFTER WEANING
Based on this success Moose extended the Ruminant trial to dosing his ewes and merino lambs. The 3,000 merino lambs settled well after weaning. Moose said ‘normally they are hard to control and it takes a few days for them to settle down, butthis time they started grazing straight away and were easy to muster”. INCREASED PREGNANCIES Maiden ewes had more twins and the dry rate was down to 3 .5%, normally it is around 10-1 5%. This is a very good resu It as the maidens are joined at 18 months of age . MINIMISE STRESS Moose is aware of trying to minimise stress which can impact on the well being of the weaners. “I keep mobs at 1,000 to try to minimise social stress and wil I now use Ruminant to help with feed change disorders.”