Focus on calf and sheep health at Kiernan Milling
Kiernan Milling in Granard has been specialising in animal feedstuffs for over 30 years. The mill is one of the largest of its kind in Ireland following the purchase of Stewarts Animal Feeds in Co Roscommon in 2007. Along with a range of pig, poultry, ruminant and extruded products, the business also boasts an ‘in-house’ veterinary service and retail animal health store - both of which are audited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food.
The mill will demonstrate what it’s all about during the Spring Farm Machinery Show, which is taking place at Cavan’s Equestrian Centre over two days next week. A number of discussions are taking place at the facility over the next few weeks that will focus on calf nutrition and sheep health.
‘All things Calf’
David Magee is the Ruminant Nutritionist at Kiernan Milling and he says that ‘All things Calf’ - which takes place on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:45pm - will focus on how to get the animal “up and going”; getting good quality colostrum into the diet and its role in the future of calving in Ireland; and the actions available to support the calf in becoming as efficient as possible.
“We will also be discussing milk replacer, good quality protein replacer, cereals and good husbandry,” he said. “We all need to think more about whether or not sheds are well ventilated and using good straw.”
Meanwhile, David pointed out that difficulties have arisen over the last few years in relation to pneumonia and scour in calves. He says vaccines play a huge role in that, while, at the same time, animals are becoming immune to antibiotics.
“We have a vet in-house that is working on this issue however, we do need to look at the amount of vaccines that are being administered,” he continued.
“There are examples of vaccines being administered incorrectly or animals being triple-vaccinated and really you have to ask yourself if that is happening, how efficient is the vaccine in the first instance? We also need to look more at the difference between microbial and bacterial illnesses in calves. All of this is applicable to suckler farmers as well.”
A second discussion takes place the following week at the mill and that will focus on sheep health. Guest speaker Marian McGlynn, sheep lecturer in Ballyhaise and DKIT will be on hand to open the discussion.