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 nutritional scours. If I see a hint of a calf being off colour, they are put on 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 farmer 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.