Tuesday, 29 May 2018 09:19

Calcium bolus in and working

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A range of Belgian bolus products new to New Zealand is being launched this month via veterinary clinics, reports the distributor, Animal Health Direct, based in Hawkes Bay.

The first – CalciTop – is a fast-release bolus containing Diacalcium phosphate as an inorganic salt for slower release of calcium, and calcium formiate as an organic salt for fast release of calcium 4.5 g phosphorus; 1.5 g magnesium and 200.000 IU per kg Vitamin D3 for milk fever prevention. 

Says AHD founder Richard Kettle, “Sub-clinical milk fever affects a high proportion of NZ dairy herds (up to 70%) so we encourage farmers to take a preventative approach and administer the extra calcium the cows need using CalciTop.”

Kettle says a key point of difference between CalciTop and oral supplements is that the farmer can be sure the cow is getting sufficient calcium because the bolus is in and working.  “Oral supplements can prove to be difficult to administer, leading to inconsistent dosing and animal intake.”

Recommended dose rates for CalciTop are one bolus 12-24 hours before calving, and another post calving if required. For cows with a known history of milk fever, Kettle recommends two CalciTops 12-24 hours pre calving. 

AHD has commissioned trial work on its HighTrace six-month slow release mineral bolus which it expects to launch in September.

Consumer demand

New Zealand’s dairy industry must catch up with world-best standards in respect of the environment and animal welfare, says Richard Kettle, of AHD. 

He believes public perception and the new generation of farmers emerging are driving necessary changes.

“Urban people want to see green fields, healthy looking cows with free access to shelter and fresh clean water,” he says. 

“If this perfect picture cannot be seen, dairying runs the risk of an end-user backlash. We will see reduced dairy consumption locally and by our trading partners.” 

Consumers increasingly want to be at the farmgate and feel a connection with their food.

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