Producing high quality beef is a key driving force behind McKee’s Farm, Country Store and Restaurant.
Located in the Craigantlet Hills, on the outskirts of Newtownards in Co Down, the business is fast developing a reputation as an elite supplier of fresh food, courtesy of its farm shop, restaurant and catering operation.
“We finish in the region of 500 cattle per year,” explained Colin McKee, who manages the business with his wife Linda.
“The majority of the stock are heifers, but a few bullocks are also thrown in for good measure.
“The cattle are bought in at the weanling stage. All the animals are finished indoors. However, all the young stock get at least one complete season at grass.
“We aim to get as much daily liveweight gain from grazed grass as possible. And with this aim in mind, we operate a rotational grazing system.”
The continuing spell of good weather has improved grazing conditions tremendously with the turnout of all the younger cattle on the farm now a reality.
“We worm all stock prior to the start of the grazing season and then eight weeks afterwards,” Colin confirmed.
“We want to ensure that all the young cattle secure the highest possible growth rates from grazed grass.
“Maintaining the health of all our stock is crucially important.”
The start of the grazing season is a very busy time of the year on the McKee farm.
Colin continued: “We want a wormer that is effective and easy to use. Dectomax Pour On works on both counts. It doesn’t take that much time to run the cattle up through the crush.
“With a persistency period of up to five week for gut worms, and six weeks for lungworm, we feel safe with an eight week dosing interval. This crucially gives the cattle some exposure to a small worm challenge, and allows them to start to develop their own immunity to worms while maintaining optimal growth rates. This at a time of year when we want to get the best possible response from grazed grass. This is the cheapest source of feed on every livestock farm.”
Colin went on to point out that bringing the stock in for worming throughout the season also allows him to weigh the cattle on a regular basis. This checks that growth rates are hitting targets, and ensures that the correct dose for body weight can be applied to every animal at the next treatment.
“Dectomax is very easy to apply, once the cattle are in the crush. So it makes sense to weight them at the same time,” he said.
Elanco’s Eugene Smyth was a recent visitor to the McKee farm.
“Colin is one of the many livestock farmers who realise the effectiveness and versatility of Dectomax Pour On,” he explained.
“The product can be applied quickly and easily. What’s more, it has a long action, making Dectomax particularly suitable for controlling parasites in cattle.”
Eugene concluded: “Dectomax Pour On is “rain fast”, provided the stock are kept out of the rain for 20-30 minutes before and after treatment. As a result, it remains fully active, irrespective of the prevailing weather conditions.”
Dectomax Pour On is a ready to use solution for the treatment and control of stomach, gut and lungworms, plus a lice free housing guarantee. It is used on all ages and classes of beef cattle, including in-calf suckler cows and dairy youngstock.