Calf rearing variables

There is a famous fridge magnet verse that might have been written by a calf rearer:

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Ngahiwi Farms Managing Director Bill Coates knows that farmers don’t like unknowns and will try to control every variable they can. While international markets and uncooperative weather systems may still be out of our control, the nutrition of our animals is not.

As one of New Zealand’s leading calf-rearing brands, Ngahiwi has delivered superior value to supplier and calf rearer alike for over 20 years. Bill Coates, a farmer of over 30 years’ experience himself, is all too aware of the stresses and strains calving brings. “Twenty years in this industry means we can reassure our customers that they have the best all-milk protein calf milk replacer available,” he says.

He recognises that the constant challenge to the industry is to continue to provide a quality product at a fair price without resorting to fillers, corner-cutting or reducing market value to the calf rearer, farmer and the retailer.

“The calf rearer is always faced with uncertain procurement costs – the price of a four-day-old calf, milk and meal are significant,” says Bill. He realises that all you can do is control as much of the process as possible. “Ngahiwi has always strived to deliver a quality product. We will not endorse soy protein flour or cheaper non-curding powders before 14 days of age,” he says. “While the market demands a fair price – which we deliver – it is product consistency, coupled with customer support that brings customers back year after year.”

“When a farmer can trust the nutritional quality of a top quality milk replacer, it is a weight off his mind,” says Bill. “He needs to know that valuable resources will not be spent on un-nutritional fillers and cheap vegetable proteins. Some of these can even potentially damage a young calf,” he explains.

Knowing that orders are processed carefully, and product will be delivered on farm, on time and with as little hassle as possible is important.

“Calf rearers have made a large capital investment. They have done their homework and a top quality, fairly priced CMR is what they expect and what they deserve,” says Bill.

Dairy Farming animal nutrition

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