Home' Otago Southland Farmer : May 17th 2013 Contents 20
A Consortium of AgResearch Ltd and Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Collecting data for Ovita's research projects is an investment in the future.
That's why Richard and Kerry France have chosen to be part of Ovita's 5K chip project, which is a
gene-based test that uses an animal's DNA profile to predict breeding values in rams.
The couple farm 566 hectares at Moa Flat in West Otago. As well as 1130 stud ewes, they run
commercial Perendales, yearly cattle and a deer operation.
They and 64 other sheep breeders throughout New Zealand are DNA-testing their elite ram lambs
- those identified via SIL with enhanced breeding value in specific genetic traits. Progeny born this
spring were genotyped using the SNP chip technology, and ranked to verify each animal's genetic
worth against the existing BV. The result will be much improved accuracy of breeding values, which
will help breeders identify the most superior animals for their breeding programme.
The 5K test is currently being used as a proof of concept, but is likely to be commercially available
to breeders in 2013.
For farmers, this means fast-tracking the use of elite genetics in their own sheep, while decreasing
the risk of making the wrong selection decision.
There's no payback right now in being involved in the project for the Frances; in fact it's extra work
in blood sampling for the DNA testing. But they believe they have to be proactive in leading genetic
change that will eventually produce elite animals for the future. "It's about thinking outside the square
to keep in front."
The Frances also autopsied lambs for several years as part of the lamb survival programme. Although
there weren't any real issues and major lamb losses, there has been fine-tuning of their management
as a result, including weighing at birth, and preferentially feeding triplet-bearing ewes.
This technology is a result of New Zealand farmer investment in Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Ovita.
This technology is a result of New Zealand farmer investment in Beef + Lamb
New Zealand and Ovita.
Contact Eleanor Linscott 03-477-0697 for more information,
or visit www.ovita.co.nz
Stockfeed & Animal Health
Stockfeed & Animal Health
Improved pastures cause the bloating condition
A side effect of improved
pastures and the push for
high production, pasture
bloat is a serious and
of grazing cattle.
Despite the years of research
going into bloat prevention, it still
remains a common problem in New
Zealand. Spring and autumn have a
tendency to be the most dangerous
seasons; this is when pastures are high in
protein, water and starch, but low in fibre.
When ingested by the cow, this feed
ferments in the rumen and produces an
excess of gas which becomes trapped in
the rumen contents, forming foam which
the animal cannot dispose of.
Cattle which are suffering from bloat
will have a swollen abdomen - most
apparent in the upper left-hand flank. In
the initial stages of the problem, the cow
becomes restless, stops eating and
frequently tries to urinate and defecate.
The cow shows acute respiratory distress
as the swelling becomes worse, and may
possibly have its head and neck extended
and tongue out. Cows will ultimately die
from heart or lung failure due to the acute
pressure of the swollen abdomen upon
Cattle can suffer bloat within
15 minutes of being put onto
high risk feeds. Outbreaks of
bloat can commonly occur
across a herd, although
individual cattle can die of
bloat with little sign of any
bloat occurring in the rest of
If an animal is spotted with
early signs of bloat, it is
possible to drench them with
an approved bloat oil or
even100ml of vegetable oil if this is not
available. Remove the cows from the
offending pasture and continue to feed
them hay or mature grass/silage. Cows
which are in severe distress will need to be
stabbed in their upper left-hand flank
area, which will relieve the pressure on the
organs. Farmers should speak to vets and
be taught the correct place and way to
carry this out should it be required.
Unfortunately, there is not a single bloat
control measure which will be 100%
effective on its own, however the risk of
bloat happening can be considerably
reduced by a combination of good
management practices and the bloat
prevention products available.
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