Increasing numbers of dairy farmers in Northern Ireland are discovering the power of seaweed meal to boost the nutrition of their cows while, at the same time, markedly improving overall animal health levels within their herds.
“It’s the missing ingredient that ensures all the other components of the cow diet get an opportunity to express their value in full,” confirmed Francis Kyle, who milks 240 cows near Stranocum in North Co Antrim. He farms with his brother James.
The Kyle herd calves from the beginning of October through to the end of April. The cows are currently averaging 7,400L per lactation at 4.20% butterfat and 3.45% protein.
“Seaweed meal is a totally natural feed,” Francis added.
“And it only takes very small quantities of the product to make a real and positive difference.”
Francis is currently using a unique and very high quality source of seaweed meal – PhylFeed, which he sources from Owens Farm Solutions.
Richard Owens is the man behind this extremely innovative brand.
“The product is sourced from seaweed that is harvested in an extremely sustainable manner from Donegal’s Dungloe Bay,” he said. “The fresh product is then dried so as to ensure that all of the nutritional value is maintained intact.”
PhylFeed is manufactured by OGT. The product has been commercially available for the past years and, according to the company’s Seamus Cunningham, demand continues to grow at an exponential rate.
“Seaweed contains more than 60 natural organic elements, amino acids, enzymes, and trace minerals,” he said.
“But it’s seaweed’s unique sugar content that makes it so nutritionally valuable for dairy cows, suckler cows and sheep. These sugars act to stimulate rumen function, which is the overall driver when it comes to maintaining the health of all cattle and sheep.”
Francis Kyle is quick to confirm the very real benefits, in terms of herd performance, that he has noticed since including PhylFeed into the rations of his dairy cows.
“Upset stomachs are a thing of the past and lameness levels have reduced noticeably,” he said.
“I am getting much better performance from forage while the cows are demonstrating much stronger heats. Problems at calving are also much reduced. We have not had one difficult birth since the beginning of this year’s calving season.”
For further information, contact Richard Owens on 079906 90857.