RODNEY Bakker hails from a dairy background in the Netherlands and laid down his roots in the Australian dairy industry five years ago.
On June 1 this year he and sharefarmers Jared Boshier and Ella Credlin took over a farm in the Timboon area of south-west Victoria.
They currently milk 250 Friesians a month.
“We lead feed 3kg per head, a day, for three weeks prior to the point of calving,” Rodney said.
“Additionally we allow access to lower quality pasture hay or low protein cereal hay to get some fibre in the rumen and allow a good transition.”
Rodney’s Springer herd have been one of a half dozen herds around Victoria being tested on a new mineral pellet in Reid Stockfeeds’ Springer 16 ration.
“The cows have adapted well to the feed,” he said.
“When at the trough they’re fighting for position to access and eat it.
“Importantly they eat all of it and we have experienced minimal ill health effects.
“When we took over the farm there were some metabolic disorders present including milk fever and after births.
“We immediately changed the Springer diet from rye grass hay to an oaten cereal hay as well as switching to Reid Stockfeeds as our grain provider.
“These changes have made a great difference to the health of our cows.”
Reid Stockfeeds recently revised its Springer 16 specifications of the lead feed, mineral pellet.
Trace minerals have been adjusted, and the lead feed pellet will contain higher levels of vitamins A, D and E, as well as organic selenium, and revised proportions of chloride and sulphur ions.
The addition of Hy-D and elevated magnesium will aid in hypocalcaemia management and activation of the parathyroid hormone.
Springer 16 will maintain a DCAD of -1000 meq, but has been reformulated to contain 17 per cent canola meal, 33 per cent wheat, 33 per cent barley and 17 per cent pelletised anionic salts.
The changes were implemented to afford customers with competitive pricing whilst maintaining the product’s capacity to manage metabolic issues around calving.
The new lead feed formula is being monitored for how many days each Springer consumes it for, what day they return to the herd, any metabolic problems should they occur and what production is produced when returned to the shed.
“The benefits of lead feeding are obvious and immediately felt by what’s returned in the vat,” Rodney said.
“We deal with Reid Stockfeeds because of the reliability and consistency in their feed, backed up by good advice.”
For more information about Reid Stockfeeds’ new Springer 16 feed, other rations and custom mixes, phone 1300 7343 3333 or visit www.reidstockfeeds.com.au.
Feeding for a healthy herd