Lamb rearers Luke and Rebecca Mahoney were sold on Sprayfo Primo Lamb after just one season, based on the performance of the lambs and the support they received from AgriVantage in achieving their rearing objectives.
Based on a 1,200 acre block in Pahiatua, the Mahoney’s have been large-scale calf rearers for some time. 2017 was their first foray into lambs and they successfully reared around 1,900 ewe replacements for Spring Sheep Milk Co.
“Working with lambs for the first time and never having used a whey product before, we were very appreciative of the support provided by AgriVantage” Rebecca notes.
“Warren knows his products well and ensured we had a good understanding of how whey was beneficial for digestion and rumen development, as well as teaching us about how to use the product.
“His support didn’t stop there either, he worked alongside us to ensure we got the best results possible, such as helping us to set up the automatic feeders.
“And he followed the progress of our animals right the way through. Long after weaning, Warren would check in to see how the animals were progressing.
“That level of support gave us a lot of confidence in using Sprayfo.”
Rebecca adds that Sprayfo lived up to expectation, aiding in early rumen development. And there were no issues with abomasal bloat.
She believes ad-lib feeding was key to the lambs thriving.
The machines kept the milk at a constant 38°C and the lambs fed ad-lib on milk, concentrates and water.
She observed that ad-lib feeding also enabled the lambs to feed much more naturally.
“We noticed that they tended to cluster feed at 4.30am and 9pm, times when most hand reared lambs wouldn’t be fed.”
Rebecca’s rearing objectives were to get the lambs to 48-50kg (mating weight) in six months. Electronically tagged, they were weighed every two weeks and weaned from 6 weeks old, once they reached a minimum of 18kgLW.
“I feel that Sprayfo gave these lambs the best start” says Rebecca.
“Onto concentrates quicker, they grew quickly, comfortably gaining up to 600g per day. They were also well prepared for pasture.
“Some hit their mating weight target within 4 months.”
This year she’s expecting to rear approximately 1,700 lambs and she’ll be using Sprayfo Primo Lamb again.
“Sprayfo is cost-effective and well-priced. And, for the results plus the support from AgriVantage, I wouldn’t use any other product.”
Rebecca also reared calves on Sprayfo Premium Blue last year. They were weaned from 4 weeks at 54kgLW. Here again, she noted good growth rates and accelerated rumen development.