Farm Weekly

BioStart biological boosts lambing percentage

BETTER RESULTS: Bill Herde has seen a significant lift in resilience in his dorper weaners using Ruminant.

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Two South Australian sheep farmers have lifted their lambing rates by 45 percent and improved weaner weights using BioStart Ruminant.

Ruminant is a prebiotic digestion enhancer developed by biological company, BioStart.

"Farmers who use our biological prebiotic, Ruminant, swear by it for giving lambs and calves a great start and for support stock at times of stress," BioStart CEO, Jerome Demmer said.

"We designed Ruminant to stimulate beneficial gut microbes to predominate in the rumen because we know a healthy gut allows animals to remain resilient and even continue to thrive at times of stress such as feed change, transport, extreme weather and weaning."

Ruminant has been used by Australian farmers for over 20 years. Early trials quickly lead to farmers becoming lifelong users of the product, like Tim Bower of Stanley Vale merino stud in New South Wales, who saw a significant lift in weights and resilience right from the get go.

"After the second dose the Ruminant, treated weaners had gained 20 percent more live-weight than the untreated group, and stock moving on to lush pasture had less scouring, which is a great feature for me. The ewes and lambs look an absolute picture," Mr Bower said.

More recently, Phil Cook from 'Middle Camp,' at Cowell (Eyre Peninsula) in South Australia, started using Ruminant on his ewes and has since proven that merino sheep don't have to be the poor fertility cousin.

"The ewes were sitting at a scanning rate of around 93 percent. When we introduced Ruminant in conjunction with Nutrimol to the ewes and rams two weeks prior to joining in September 2016, we started to see this scanning rate lift and we are now, six years later, lambing annually at 138 percent. That was a real surprise," Mr Cook said.

"We then started to focus on the lambs by dosing the ewes two to three weeks before lambing and we found lamb size and health increased and mortality dropped off dramatically."

Further across the Eyre Peninsula, Bill Herde from Tuckey started his feed lot Dorper lambs on Ruminant and Nutrimol around the same time and in 2018 a sale to a processor in Colac Victoria gave the following feedback.

SUCCESS: Phil Cook has lifted his annual merino lambing rates to 138 percent using Ruminant.

"The lambs received two 4mL doses of Ruminant and two 10mL doses of Nutrimol on day one and then six to eight weeks later. They received another 4mL dose of Ruminant prior to transport to Colac for processing. I got a call from the Nutrien buyer saying the processor wanted to know what I did to those sheep," Mr Herde recalled.

"He said they were calm, the skins removed very easily, they had good lungs and muscle, and there were no dark cutters even after a 15 hour truck ride."

A further bonus lies in its ease of use. Ruminant can be stored at room temperature and added to other drenches, is reusable after opening and has a nil withholding period.

To see the Ruminant Programme, which contains further details, including the application rates, click here. For more information or to order call Nick Smyth on 1800 359 559.