Craigdoo flock benefits from Provita Sheep & Lamb products

The Grant brothers Mike, John and Patrick run the successful Craigdoo Suffolk and Blackie flocks near Kilcoo in Co Down. John and Patrick are veterinarians involved as a partner and a pig specialist, and sheep specialist respectively within the Parklands Veterinary Group. Their farm is situated 600ft above sea level near the Mourne mountains. The enterprises consist of 130 pure breed Lanark Blackface ewes, 75 pedigree Suffolk ewes, 500 commercial ewes, 7,000 finishing pigs and a suckler herd. Recent successes include receiving £9,000 for a Blackie at Lanark in 2017. The brothers are driven to achieve even more success in the future. With an extensive embryo transfer program this year, they are set to continue the rapid genetic progression of their flocks.

Soil and blood tests have shown the farm has low Ievels of key minerals such as selenium, cobalt and copper. Sheep displayed significant deficiencies when relying on two of the following:  meal, boluses and drenches.  However, when the drench used was ProVitaMin the mineral levels in the blood reached adequate levels. ProVitaMin ultra-concentrated drench ensures maximum bioavailability for fertility in ewes and thrive in lambs.

 “We give ProVitaMin pre-tupping and to lambs every 4 to 6 weeks and when they are being handled. The Suffolks have scanned at 200%. We started lambing on the 28th December and aim to have a group of lambs weighing 100kg by the end of July, ready to go to the key pedigree shows. We also use Provita Pedigree feed additive which provides extra minerals, vitamins, probiotics, pre-biotics and yeast” commented Mike.

Watery mouth, which is an infection of the small intestine caused by E. coli, and scour account for most neonatal deaths in lambs.  Recent data shows that 50% of neonatal lamb E. coli infection is already resistant to the most commonly used antibiotic!  Provita Lamb Response is an oral supplement providing beneficial bacteria, egg powder and vitamins to help protect the sterile gut, fight harmful bacteria and stimulate the immune system.  Newborn lambs are also susceptible to hypothermia and energy deficiency.  Provita Jump Start is high in energy, minerals and vitamins to provide instant and slow release and to counteract common deficiencies. 

It is also worth noting that watery mouth is not seen in lambs that have taken sufficient colostrum on board in that golden 24-hour window.  Provita Lamb Colostrum can be used to supplement or substitute maternal colostrum and contains natural EU sourced colostrum. Reports have previously misunderstood the mode of action for Provita products, andth ey also underestimate the power of our probiotics to boost active immunity. Provita are still the only company to gain a medicinal licence for a probiotic, Provita Protect POM-VPS, and this technology is transferred to other products in the range. Mike Grant explained exactly why the health of their newborn lambs is so important to the family farm:

“Getting lambs going at the start and keeping them going is important and vital to meeting our targets. We do try to get as many lambs to suck colostrum from their mother as is physically possible. They will receive either natural colostrum or Provita Lamb Colostrum Concentrate powder within 10 to 30 minutes of birth. They also get vitacel and have the navels dipped. Every lamb born inside also gets Provita Lamb Response to give them a good start. Weak lambs also get Jump Start energy and mineral boost to get them up quickly. Any lambs from ewes with a difficult birth and or multiple lambs get Provita Lamb Colostrum Concentrate powder. With so many lambing at the one time the Provita lambing products are great for us in trying to keep as many alive as possible. I know some people criticise powdered colostrum, but we don’t see any difference in the lambs that receive Provita or the ewes’ colostrum”.

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