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Fortunately there were more ups than downs to our little flock’s lambing last spring. We lambed more triplets earlier than ever, reared two lambs for every ewe that went to the tup and weaned earlier than usual. We sold surplus ewe lambs and wethers while there was still plenty of grass around at good prices, […]

Just as an airplane needs air to fly and diesel engines cannot run on petrol, ‘long fibre’ is an essential carbohydrate source for a ruminant and vital for good health, productivity and even its survival. Carbohydrates, including fibre, are the main source of energy for all ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats or deer) and necessary to […]

Kiwis by nature and out of necessity, are known for their ingenuity. Innovation is turning a good, original idea that provides a new solution into a practical reality. It is little wonder then that innovations have spearheaded New Zealand agriculture to help facilitate increased and better economic production from the land. Examples of this include […]

In the autumn, seeing young stock graze on a new break of green grass as the dew drops sparkle in the early morning sun is a welcome sight, especially after the summer dry. Or is it? In fact, danger often lurks hidden in plain sight, which is something important for livestock owners to know. Consider […]

Ironically the tiniest of organisms – bacteria, fungi and viruses – can inflict some of the greatest physical and economic harm to our livestock sectors. Close to 100,000 cattle were culled in the first year alone of the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme. In September 2019, Type 1 bursal disease virus (IBDV Type 1) was confirmed […]

Alpacas and llamas have endearing personalities and are great companion animals for people with land. They are generally long living, hardy and “good doers” — naturally selected over millennia to survive in the dry, barren regions of South America. They do not typically require a high level of supplementary feeding. For non-breeding stock obesity may […]

Until recently, the strongest interest in compound feed for ewes at lambing time came from stud breeders who produce high-value stock and have an interest in demonstrating a high-lambing percentage. With recent changes in the market, such as swine fever affecting global meat supplies and a general upward trend in lamb prices, it makes more […]

Health and Safety on farms can extend to what is fed to animals to keep them as healthy and safe as possible. Some animal feeds are surprisingly dangerous to some classes of stock, so it pays to read and understand the label when feed arrives. There are a few things to be aware of when […]

Flushing ewes for a bigger, earlier lamb crop Naturally, a grazing animal which is underweight should be less inclined to get pregnant because it will only increase nutritional demands and could lead to more competition for limited feed. Vegetative lush autumn growth gives ewes a taste of the high-quality spring pasture they can expect about […]

Until recently, sheep farmers may have felt their supplementary choices were limited by comparison to the vast ranges of Equine feeds. Supplementary feeds are available to suit the different classes of horses according to their stage of life, level of work and even physiological wellbeing and taste preferences. Fortunately, the NRM sheep range has evolved […]