Family firm with international expertise

"Adding these plant extra products to our calf milk powder has proved very popular with rearers right across NI as a means of helping prevent and assisting in the recovery from many key causes of mortality and morbidity,"Stephen McKenna, Gortavoy Feeds

"Adding these plant extra products to our calf milk powder has proved very popular with rearers right across NI as a means of helping prevent and assisting in the recovery from many key causes of mortality and morbidity,"Stephen McKenna, Gortavoy Feeds

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Gortavoy Feeds and Farm Supplies is a family firm with access to international expertise not least in the area of calf rearing.

Based outside Dungannon this Co. Tyrone company founded in 1982 has close links with the French research and development group Techna. Key players in the development of premixes and supplements Techna researchers have brought to the market a range of natural plant extract based products.

These help prevent and aid the recovery from a range of animal health problems without recourse to using antibiotics. This reduces the risk of pathogens building up resistance to antibiotics needed by both vets and doctors as a last line of defence.

Respiral from Techna can be included in calf milk powder from Gortavoy Feeds as an aid to the prevention and treatment of pneumonia in calves.

Pneumonia has been show in surveys conducted by AFBI, Hillsborough to have a very costly long-term impact on animal performance as regards DLWG and milk yield.

Martin Daly, Techna sales manager UK and RoI, noting that whilst farmers know calves recovering from pneumonia are ‘slow doers’ few realise that the impact on livestock performance can run on for years.

“According to AFBI dairy heifer calves treated multiple times for pneumonia early in life suffer a 5% and 10% reduction in 1st and 2nd lactation. That is a major loss of milk and money.

“Helping prevent a milk drop costing well over a £100 per lactation by including Respiral in milk powder for 50p a day makes sound sense, especially as Respiral as a natural plant extract does not need a prescription.

“It works by enhancing lung capacity and functionality in the young calf with lifelong benefits in helping keep pneumonia at bay and indeed can be used to aid recovery after an outbreak.”

Widely used by French farmers Respiral is fast becoming the first choice for farmers across these islands. Farmers and vets in Mallow and Carlow recently reported on their very positive experiences with Respiral when rearing both dairy and beef calves.

Taking livestock health forward since 1964 Techna also supplies Gortavoy Feeds with Digest Vo for inclusion where requested in Calfpride Gold instant milk powder.

Digest Vo in on farm trials as far back as 2006 reduced the number of Cocci oocysts by up to 81%. Two batches of 64 calves, neither on a coccidiostat, were used in that first trial.

Now farmers across NI are turning to Gortavoy Feeds and their quality calf milk powder that can easily have Respiral or Digest Vo included when necessary.