March Newsletter 2019

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SELEKT ANTACID, a product designed for acidosis from acute rumen engorgement of carbohydrate eg:fodder beet. A combination of magnesium oxide and bicarbonate to neutralise acids and prevent over alkalising the rumen. Yeast as a nutritional and energy source for rumen microbes and Ispaghula Husk, a fibre source to bind and remove free toxins hence reducing the amount of toxins available to be absorbed into circulation.

The SELEKT range fills a gap in treatment options for oral rehydration of cows. It will enable the increased use of fluid therapy for adult cattle. Critically important nutrients can be supplied to the cow in larger quantities than can be supplied in bottle drenches, pastes and boluses.
The SELEKT pump drencher enables high volumes of water and electrolytes to be safely delivered to the rumen of a cow where it may be quickly utilised.

Veiw Dr Ivan Holloways Demonstration on using the SELEKT pumps below.


We have nearly completed our first season with Dairy Tech batch pasteurisers and the results have been very pleasing. Farmers report overall health and well-being of their calves has never been better and the common theme is “we wouldn’t go back”.
A lot of learnings have been made during this first season, with a better understanding of the complexities surrounding batch pasteurisation of colostrum. Batch Pasteurisers heat treats colostrum to kill bacteria and major pathogens residing in colostrum such as Johne’s bacteria, Mycoplasma bovis bacteria, salmonella species etc. The high bacterial content of a lot of colostrum being fed in New Zealand can impact on the ability of a calf to absorb the critical immunoglobulins and nutrients required to give them the best start in life. Research suggests that calves fed heat treated colostrum have better transfer of immunity at 24 hours compared to calves fed untreated or raw colostrum. This science is strongly supported with what we saw on farms using the pasteurisers last spring.

The heat treatment process requires the colostrum to be heated to 60°C and kept at that temperature for 60 minutes for pathogens to be destroyed. This can be done either in bulk or in the perfect udder bags which can be used to collect, treat and store colostrum in convenient 4 litre, sterile bags. Heat treatment of colostrum is a complex business and the dairy tech pasteurisers employ tightly controlled temperature regulation to ensure the protection of the colostrum proteins during the process.
While fully automated, the colostrum or milk is processed with a sophisticated set of controls that ensure proper temperatures and times are strictly adhered to. Following completion of the cycle, a built-in pre-cooling feature rapidly cools the colostrum to ensure there is no regrowth of bacteria.
These sophisticated units are built out of high-quality material and are supported with a 12-month warranty and world-wide sales and service. The largest and most popular model is the Dairy Tech 227 litre batch pasteuriser.

‘I find it best practice to heat & treat colostrum to raise healthier stronger calves and find less disease and better weaning rates’. – Blair (Georgetown).


As we are progressing through the year, farmers will be well on in to vaccinating their calves for BVD/IBR, and with most beef farmers weaning in the next couple of months it’s a good time to be talking BVD/ IBR vaccinations and the benefits for their herd.
Vaccinating along with a good management plan as you know are all part of a quality programme for these farmers to set their herd up for the future.

Agilis are proud to be distributing Hiprabovis 3
Hiprabovis 3 is the only vaccine available in New Zealand combining Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) protection with Infectious Rhinotracheitis (IBR) and Parainfluenza Virus (PI 3) making it the ultimate broad spectrum virus protection vaccine for cattle and in particular your young cattle now.
Calves becoming infected with BVD may have 6-8 weeks poor growth and suffer immune suppression making them more susceptible to other diseases such as pneumonia, worms and coccidiosis. The risk of transient infection causing scour and periods of ill thrift is quite real. This is most evident when mobs from different sources are mixed in a grazing situation with the risk of introducing a Persistently Infected (PI) animal increases.
Caused by the Bovine Herpes Virus, it causes sporadic outbreaks of nasal catarrh and conjunctivitis in calves. An acute febrile condition may occur which can precede more severe secondary infections. Like all herpes infections, it may become latent and chronic. Weight loss is a potential risk from this disease and being highly infectious, can lead to a true outbreak situation occurring. Recent serological surveys indicate that IBR is widespread in dairy herds suggesting disease is but a breath away.
PI 3:
PI 3 infections combined with opportunistic bacteria may lead to severe cases of calf pneumonia. The PI 3 virus is commonly recovered from cattle with acute non-fatal respiratory disease.  Again, growth rates may be compromised during periods of this disease making target live weights harder to attain.


Good rainfall prior to Christmas means many parts of New Zealand experienced exceptional grass growth rates up until the New Year. Since then, much of New Zealand is feeling the impact of a hot dry summer. What does this mean for parasites?
One could be forgiven for thinking the hot summer days are destroying larval contamination of pasture and you would be correct to a degree, but the larvae or rather eggs are still there. Parasites are masters at surviving all conditions so largely eggs are sitting unhatched protected in faecal matter on paddocks waiting for the next rain. When it does happen, the eggs are released from the dung pats, hatch and you get a massive explosion of larvae across pasture. Pasture covers may be lower due to dry conditions so animal exposure and ingestion is greater. This means your weaner calves are potentially facing a larval explosion. Protecting them with an Alpheus capsule will go a long way to maximising their future potential.
Alpheus capsules, with their unique design ensures the capsule along with the primer drench tablets are delivered directly into the rumen. The primer tablets containing oxfendazole and levamisole go about their business killing all stages of susceptible parasites as should any oral anthelmintic combination should. The capsule concurrently begins to deliver a constant dose of abamectin daily in the rumen for 125 days. This continual dose of abamectin creates a toxic swimming pool in the rumen for any incoming L3 larvae that are being ingested. Compared to adult worms, the L3 larvae are relatively easier to kill and the whole process is not reliant on the absorption and transport of active around the body.

Compared to most anthelmintic treatments there are no peaks and troughs in delivery. As incoming larvae are being killed before they can enter the intestine meaning there is no gut damage occurring or subsequent loss in appetite.
Using Alpheus capsules strategically during the autumn in calves is a strong management tool in aiding the growth and development of valuable replacement stock. Used in conjunction with a Tracesure and or Copasure bolus your weaner calves can grow unhindered without suffering from reduced growth rates due to either parasitism or trace element deficiencies.



A policeman in the big city stops a man in a car with a sheep in the front seat. “What are you doing with that sheep?” He exclaimed, “You should take it to the zoo.” The following week, the same policeman sees the same man with the sheep again in the front seat, with both of them wearing sunglasses. The policeman pulls him over. “I thought you were going to take that sheep to the zoo!” The man replied, “I did. We had such a good time we are going to the beach this weekend!”


Copper deficiency and bone fragility.

Spontaneous bone fractures in cattle have been a topic of concern for some time. While the overall cause is multifactorial in nature, copper deficiency is a well-documented risk factor for bone fragility to occur. Copper is an important element assisting in the structural integrity of bone and connective tissue. By the time fractures occur it is too late so ensuring adequate copper supplementation in young growing stock is critical to ensure maximum bone integrity in adult animals. Supplementing young stock with long acting copper bolus such as Copasure will maintain copper levels for up to six months allowing them to grow strong and healthy and be ready for mating next season.

Copasure comes in 2g, 4g, 4g, 12.5g & 25g.