Co. Carlow

+353 (0) 59 915 1251
+353 (0) 59 915 1856


Nutribio Ltd.
Tivoli Industrial Estate

+353 (0) 214 507 303
+353 (0) 214 507 152


Top Breeders Recommend The FlowMag Approach To Mineral Nutrition

Top Breeders Recommend The FlowMag Approach To Mineral Nutrition

The last thing farmers with breeding stock need following one of the most challenging winters in memory is to lose cows to Grass Tetany, once they are put out to grass. And given the low mineral levels that have been the norm in the silages on offer over the last number of months, such an occurrence is not beyond the realms of imagination.

Dairy and suckler farmers, who feed concentrates post-calving, can address this issue by increasing the magnesium levels in the meals they are offering. However, for those farmers who do not supplementary feed post-calving, the daily spreading of  calcined magnesite onto pastures has been the traditional management option of choice. However, even this approach is not foolproof when it comes to keeping the scourge of Grass Staggers at bay. Moreover, spreading calcined magnesite is a time consuming and messy job.

Magnesium has a major role to play in every metabolic activity, it helps prevent milk fever, grass tetany, buffers the rumen and strong muscular contraction of the gastrointestinal tract which aids in the prevention of displaced abomasum.

In response to this need for additional magnesium supplementation, Nutribio has developed a method of addressing this ‘nutritional challenge’, based on the fundamental reality that all stock must drink water on a regular basis. The company’s Ned Barden takes up the story.

“As a direct response to the need identified by many of our farmer customers, we have developed a range of liquid magnesium supplements known as the FlowMag range, which can be added to the water system via the use of a pump and in this way is made available to stock at grass or in sheds,” he explained.

“The FlowMag range is formulated for dairy and suckler cows on grass throughout the grazing season, particularly in spring and autumn. The range is available as a straight magnesium supplement, (FlowMag 50), it is also available with selenium and iodine (FlowMag Se & I) or with a full complement of essential trace elements (FlowMag Fertility & TE) which helps to maximise fertility levels during the breeding season..”

Well known Co. Cork Angus breeder Ben Ryall, who manages the Fellfort herd with his wife Elaine, quickly recognised the benefits of the FlowMag approach to mineral nutrition when made aware of the products’ availability.

The Fellfort herd has been a source of elite Angus breeding stock for many years. Demand for the cattle has been fuelled by the various beef quality schemes which offer a premium for certified Angus beef. The current group of 80 cows that make up the Fellfort herd is split equally into autumn and spring calving groups.

“By splitting our cows in this way it is possible to meet the herd breeding requirements of our customers at the various times of the year,” Ben Ryall explained.

“The breeding season in the autumn is restricted to the months of September and October while January and February are the main spring calving months. The first calf of 2013 was born on January 10th. Exactly one month later, 80 per cent of the cows in the spring calving group had given birth.

“In order to maintain these focused calving periods, the bulls are allowed in with the cows in each group for a two month breeding season only. Cows or heifers found not to be in calf seven weeks after the bulls have been taken out are culled. We do not move those spring calving animals not to be found in calf into the autumn group and vice versa.”

Ensuring that freshly calved cows are receiving the correct balance of minerals and trace elements is crucially important in determining their future fertility, particularly in the context of such tight calving patterns.

“I opted for the ‘FlowMag Fertility & TE’ specification, which ensures that the cows receive the magnesium they need plus all the other essential trace elements that are required from a general health and fertility point of view,” Ben Ryall further explained.

“We are in a copper deficient area. However, since installing the FlowMag system, we never see the brown, dry patches on the animals’ coats, that are so indicative of copper deficiency.

“The concentrated liquid is pumped into the farm’s water system, using a ‘Dosatron’ system. It is installed in the farm workshop.  There is a very straightforward calibration mechanism, which allows the concentration of minerals getting into the water to be changed according to need. What’s more the pump is extremely robust. It has not given one day’s trouble since its installation a number of years ago!”

Ben concluded:

“The FlowMag approach to mineral supplementation has two significant advantages. Firstly, it gives me the peace of mind that the cows are actually getting the levels of magnesium and trace elements they require. Secondly, there is also a tremendous labour saving benefit to be gained by taking this approach.”

 Click here for full product details of FlowMag Fertility & Trace Elements.