Author Archive for ‘Maxine Thrasher’

Introducing CalFix® to B&W Feeds – reduce the risk of milk fever!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 by

Calfix Logo B&W
Introducing CalFix®…the nutritional way to reduce the risk of milk fever

CalFix® is a new and unique dietetic feed technology for dry cows from Trouw Nutrition GB and  offers an innovative way to reduce the risk of clinical and subclinical milk fever while also promoting dry matter intake immediately after calving.  It is being launched following extensive research and is now available through B&W Feeds to be incorporated into a mill and mix ration.

“At calving, cows experience a high spike in demand for calcium at a time when feed intakes are reduced,” explains Adam Clay, Ruminant Manager at Trouw Nutrition GB.  “Unable to meet the demand nutritionally, the cow has to mobilise body reserves.  However, this adaptation process can take several days to reach full efficiency during which time the cow will be deficient in calcium and at risk of milk fever unless she is properly prepared in the transition period.”

Calfix Graph 1 B&WHe comments that published UK research shows that clinical milk fever typically affects 7-10% of cows with up to 60% of cows having sub-clinical symptoms.  Each clinical case has an estimated direct cost of over £300, but cows with milk fever are more prone to other metabolic problems and increased negative energy balance, so improving calcium metabolism will have a substantial productivity and economic benefit.

“Despite our best endeavours to restrict calcium supply, most transition diets typically contain too much calcium.  Trials show that CalFix® effectively reduces the available calcium in the dry cow diet Calfix Graph 2 B&Wand thereby reduces blood calcium levels,” says Adam.  “CalFix® triggers an earlier onset of the calcium adaptation process so that when cows calve and face the spike in demand they are already utilising calcium efficiently, meaning the risk of hypocalcaemia, both as clinical and subclinical milk fever, is reduced.”

Of critical importance, and unlike other dry cow strategies, the research showed that cows fed CalFix® also had increased dry matter intakes immediately post-calving which helps to restore positive energy balance in early lactation, enabling healthy milk production and return to service.

Calfix B&W  Mill & Mill Dry Cow RationCalFix® should be fed in the last three weeks of the dry period (it should not be fed to lactating cows).  A typical on farm dry cow mix is seen to the left.  It should be fed alongside other forages and minerals to supply a balanced transition diet for dairy cows.   This may be a combination of straw, maize and grass silage.  Let us know what you have and we will come up with a feeding plan.


Calfix Image B&W


New Buschhoff Tourmix 03 on Mercedes Arocs Chassis Arriving Shortly!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 by

Buschhoff Toumix 03 B&WBW Feeds Toumix 03

We would be delighted to see you at the Eurotier ( exhibition from 11 to 14 November in Hanover.  We will be on Stand C05 in Hall 23.

B&W representatives will be on hand together with colleagues from Buschhoff to showcase the very latest in milling and mixing technology, conveying and storage technology as well as mobile plants.

We are equally proud to have on display our new Tourmix 03 machine destined for use in our business at the begining of December.

Buschhoff Tourmix 03 B&W FeedsB&W Tourmix 03














Cheap Imported Milk Replacers May Be An Expensive Option

Friday, September 12th, 2014 by

Cheap Imported Milk Replacers May be an Expensive Option

It is very difficult to distinguish a quality milk powder from a budget product.  Whilst most calf milk powders look the same, the quality of ingredients can vary enormously. Cheap milk replacers seldom meet the expectations of British customers who expect milk replacers to be dust-free and mix easily in both warm and cool water. Cheap milk replacers are typically imported are often reported as being dusty, not mixing well and tending to separate rapidly after mixing.   Most importantly though is that calf growth rate targets may be  compromised and can only be achieved by feeding much more of the imported  powder and thereby eroding any cost savings made.

At B&W, we are not interested in selling cheap products that simply do not do the job.  We aim to  provide quality service and products.  That is why we have chosen to promote Milkivit calf milk replacers.  We have a really special deal coming up in the first two weeks of October for customers wishing to purchase our best seller “Premium XL”.  Call now for details.


The Benefits Of Forage Analysis

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by

B&W Forage AnalysisThere is no way of knowing the true feeding value of forage without having it analysed. Something that looks and smells good may be poor nutritionally and vice versa – you may have managed to make a ‘silk purse out of a sow’s ear’!

For the majority of systems forage makes up a large (or the largest) proportion of the ration; therefore if not analysed a big part of the diet is an unknown.

Once the forage is analysed our nutritionist can formulate a blend tailored around the results to ensure your livestock are fed a balanced ration.

One of the many advantages of home-mixing is that you can customise the blend around you rather than having to find an off the shelf blend to suit your requirements.

Cost savings could also be made– e.g., forage may be higher in protein than assumed thereby reducing required inclusion level of costly protein sources such as soya.

Additionally, total forage stock requirements for the winter can be calculated more accurately– better to know now if you will be short on forage than later!!

Mineral analysis of forage is also useful tool for:

  • Mineral profiles differ between cereal and grass silage
  • Mineral levels vary depending on location, soil types, and weather
  • An imbalance in the minerals in the forage can have serious consequences – for example, a too high a ratio of potassium: calcium can be a risk factor for hypocalcaemia.

Sampling is quick & easy:

  • One of our representatives can come out and take a sample
  • Or sample packs can be sent
  • Results are usually back within the week 





A cost effective way to supplement livestock rations?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by

Forage Root Crops

With cereal harvest not far off, you may wish to consider forage root crops as a cost effective way of supplementing livestock rations.  They supply palatable feed at relatively low production costs and can be balanced with your mill and mix ration.   Additionally, they have the added benefit of minimal management requirement and will also relieve the pressure on grazed grass and silage.  A few options you may wish to consider:

Stubble Turnips are a popular crop with our customers and should be planted after winter cereals for autumn usage.  We are able to supply two types of stubble turnip – bulbing (Barkant and Vollenda) and non bulbing (Tyfon).  The crop will be ready in 12-15 weeks and has an average DM yield of 3.5-4 tonnes/ha.

Forage Rape is a very fast growing crop, suitable for sheep and cattle.  It can extend the grazing season in the autumn and is excellent for flushing ewes.   Average DM yield of 3.5 tonnes/ha.  Varieties: Emerald  and Organic Forage Rape.

Kale is a brassica traditionally grown for grazing by cattle in the autumn and winter.    Average DM yield of 8-10 tonnes/ha.  Varieties: Sovereign and Grüner Angeliter.

We are able to offer a much wider selection than noted above, including mixtures.  For a comprehensive catalogue and further advice, please call the office.  With price pressures this season, why not let us provide you with an alternative quote you for your needs?

Forage Root Crops

Optimise your herd’s performance this summer with the the right mineral

Monday, June 23rd, 2014 by

Call for your free “mineral check”…

The correct balance of minerals, trace elements and vitamins is essential for optimum health and performance in ruminant rations.  Accurate mineral nutrition can improve health, welfare and profits.

Costly problems can result from both deficiencies and excesses.  Symptoms of clinical deficiencies are easy to spot – for example milk fever, staggers and retained foetal membranes.  Sub-clinical deficiencies may not be noticed, and are often considered as normal, although they will be draining profits due to reduced milk yield, slower growth or poorer fertility.

If you are unsure of what you require, let us have a look at your whole ration and balance your mineral requirements accordingly.  We can make bespoke mineral premixes in batches as small as 250kg.  Call our office on 01258 830100 for further details.

How do I deal with flies now the hot weather is finally here?

Friday, June 20th, 2014 by

Cow Surrounded By FliesAt this time of the year, many of our customers report flies troubling their animals.  This is an unpleasant problem and one which we believe can be improved significantly by offering high quality garlic buckets.  Our GARLYX buckets contain pure garlic along with Yea-Sacc, Zinc, Selenium and Cobalt. They are supplied in 20kg buckets as well as 100kg and 500kg blocks.  They are ideal for cattle or sheep on summer grazing where irritating flies are likely to be a nuisance.  A natural way to control flies!

The buckets also contain:

– Phosphorus and calcium for bone growth
– Zinc for hoof and hide condition
– Selenium for improved immunity
– Yea-Sacc for improved feed conversion and growth rates

Conventional and organic options are available.

SPECIAL OFFER! 12 for the price of 10 buckets while stocks last.  Call today for prices!



B&W crowned as South West Agricultural Contractor Of The Year 2014

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by
B&W Finance Director, Maxine Thrasher, accepting the prize from Neil Cox from Old Mill.B&W Finance Director, Maxine Thrasher, accepting the prize from Neil Cox from Old Mill.


We are delighted to announce that we have been named as “South West Agricultural Contractor of the Year 2014.”  Our Finance Director, Maxine Thrasher, accepted the prize on behalf of the team at the Agricultural Equipment and Machinery Show held at The Royal Bath and West Showground on 12 February.  We are delighted to have received this recognition for our investment in people, product and machinery.

“Consume a little, get a lot” Nutritional advice for your pre-lambing Ewe

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by

pre lambing ewe internal viewThe last stage of pregnancy is one of the most crucial as 70% of foetal growth takes place 8 weeks pre lambing. Other key changes including udder development and colostrum production also occur. Nutrition however is a big challenge for the ewes during this time. There is a rapid increase in their energy and protein requirements, yet at the same time their ability to eat bulk decreases as the growing unborn lamb or lambs restrict the size of the rumen as illustrated below and above: Therefore a nutrient dense ration is required. Although forage will form a major part of the diet and therefore it is important to have it analysed, it is unlikely to fulfil all of the ewe’s requirements as illustrated: (more…)