Killinchy suckler beef producer Ian Reid manages a herd of 60 Simmental cross cows. He uses a mix of Angus and Simmental bulls to both maximise the value of his finished stock and to breed the replacements he requires.
In order to spread out the workload, three quarters of the herd calve in the spring with the remainder calving down in the August/September period.
“As a result, these later born calves are housed with their mothers at the back end,” he said.
“We have good housing on the farm with the 15 or so pre-weaned calves having access to their own straw bedded lying and creep area.
“But the one drawback to autumn calving is the predisposition of the young animals to respiratory problems. It’s hard not to get round the fact that the indoor conditions plus the dust from bedding and feed makes breathing that little bit more difficult for calves.”
In light of this ongoing situation Ian was advised by his local merchant – Adrian Stevenson at Fane Valley Stores, Lisbane - to make Crystalyx Easy Breather feed blocks available to the autumn born calves at housing.
“Easy Breather is a feed lick specially designed with the intention to help alleviate stress and respiratory problems in calves and sheep,” Adrian explained.
“Respiratory problems in calves are most prevalent in autumn and winter, especially when the animals are housed. Containing menthol and eucalyptus, Crystalyx Easy Breather offers a natural aid to maintain a healthy respiratory system.”
Crysyalyx’s David Morgan was a recent visitor to the Reid farm. He confirmed that calves are particularly prone to respiratory problems, as they have not developed any natural immunity to many infectious organisms.
“The severity of the problems can vary from a mild nasal discharge and coughing in a group of calves, to severe pneumonia with some deaths,” he said.
Easy Breather optimises performance by stimulating forage intakes and digestibility while providing all essential mineral, trace elements and vitamins. It helps calves regain appetite after a stress or challenge. In essence, Easy Breather is a powerful, natural aid to help calves resist respiratory challenges. The product also reduces the risk of growth checks.”
Mr Morgan confirmed that Easy Breather is equally effective when offered to dairy and beef calves.
“The product will feature strongly on our Winter Fair stand,” he said.