Sheep and beef farmer Richard Hore describes MSD Multine B12® vaccine as ‘liquid sunshine’. He says the combination of the clostridial vaccine and Vitamin B12 works well at Beaumont to protect his youngstock. They are also healthier, grow faster and lamb mortality from tailing/docking to weaning is down.
Beaumont Station is located at Millers Flat in Central Otago. The farm has belonged to the Hore family, including Richard and Alan, for the last 48 years. 28,000 ha of extensive rolling hill country is home to approximately 6,000 head of beef cattle and 36,000 sheep.
Richard describes their challenges as mostly environmental with cold winters and explosive late spring grass growth. Like on most New Zealand farms clostridial diseases are a major risk for youngstock.
As long time PGG Wrightson customers, Alan and Richard utilise PGG Wrightson Sales Team Leader, Troy Mackey, for advice on animal health products that suit the Beaumont farm system. They have worked together for six years and Troy understands the challenges faced.
“Troy has a solid background in animal health,” notes Richard. “He’s worked extensively with vets in rural communities and we value that experience.
“Furthermore, he is not about the hard sell. On-farm every couple of weeks, Troy adds plenty of value to our operation with sound advice. We know he stands by products that work and he only recommends or sells us products that we actually require.”
Two years ago Troy recommended Multine B12® vaccine to Alan and Richard, who prior to this, had used Multine vaccine at tailing/docking and weaning in lambs.
“Multine B12 is a top product,” says Troy. “Trial data shows that Multine is a highly effective option (against clostridial disease) with high antibody immune response from all lambs.”
It is important to note that clostridia bacteria are very common and spore-forming. These spores are incredibly robust so can survive in the soil for several years, in water, dust or on the surface of skin. Farms can have no problems for years, then suddenly experience an outbreak of disease like tetanus or Pulpy Kidney.
Clostridial diseases are not contagious and presence of the bacteria does not necessarily lead to disease. In most cases a stressful experience, like tailing/docking, weaning or even bruising during transport, will trigger the disease causing significant financial loss because the animals die quickly. Therefore, vaccinating at the right time to prevent clostridial disease is critical, while the added boost of B12 provides the animals something extra when Cobalt (Co) levels in the grass are low.
“B12 helps to settle the animals faster, giving them an energy boost and stimulating the appetite,” confirms Troy.
Richard agrees. “The Multine B12 has been a game changer – getting Vitamin B12 into our animals has huge benefits.
“It gets the calves eating, they seem to have a much better appetite. Of course, this increases growth rates.
“Same with the lambs. They settle quickly after tailing and we don’t see any growth check at weaning. Healthier lambs means we’ve had a lot less deaths.”
The calves are vaccinated with Multine B12 at weaning, while the lambs are vaccinated at tailing/docking and again at weaning. They need to have both vaccinations before high risk periods of clostridial diseases like a change of feed.
For more information on Multine B12 and its suitability as a vaccine for your youngstock, contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative.