Archive for the ‘Nutrition Advice’ Category

Do you know what you are feeding?

Thursday, August 25th, 2016 by

Now is the time to find out.

Forage analysisForage (for Ruminants) and Cereals (for Monogastrics) form the basis of most diets.

By knowing the nutritional value enables you to create a balanced and economical diet i.e. if your silage is low in energy but high in protein then in order to optimise performance of the animals supplementary feed will be required however you could save money by reducing the protein level of that feed. (more…)

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


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 





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.

“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…)

The advantages of adding Westerwolds Ryegrass to a full grass seed mixture

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by

farming-Westerwolds-Ryegrass-cropWesterwolds Ryegrass can be added to any grass mixture and is included at 20% by weight or 3 kgs/acre taking the total sowing rate to 17 – 18 kgs/acre. As it is an aggressive, fast growing species it is essential that it dies out in the year of sowing. Plants surviving into the second year will compete with and ultimately damage the final sward. Consequently mixtures containing Westerwolds should always be sown before mid June and autumn management should include hard grazing to ensure the  Westerwolds component is eradicated before the following spring. (more…)