Supporting calves with probiotics

Supporting calves with probiotics

1 July 2017

Shane McPhee has been on his farm near Whakatane for 14 years and rears 200 Friesian bull calves every year. After reading about a new probiotic product for calves called Biosupport™ in a magazine, Shane was intrigued.

“It seemed like a good alternative. Then we went to a field day where I came across the Biosupport information stand and learned a bit more about the product and how to use it and they gave us some samples. At the time we had two calves with scouring after we’d given them electrolytes. I gave them the Biosupport as suggested and pretty much saw immediate results within the next few days. After that I bought it and gave it to all of the stock,” says Shane.

Shane is one of a growing number of farmers who wanted a more natural alternative to help protect his calves from the threat of bad bacteria and viruses when weaned from their mothers.

“I wanted to try a different method, one that was more natural.”

Biosupport has been developed by NZAgbiz Ltd, in conjunction with the Microbial Fermentation Unit located at the Fonterra Research Development Centre in Palmerston North.

It contains over a billion good bacteria in every gram and, for Shane, the results in the rest of his stock spoke for themselves: “Growth rate has been above normal and we had no sickness, absolutely no scouring and the calves are definitely more content in general.”

After seeing such positive results with Biosupport on his own farm, Shane wanted to spread the word. He wasted no time telling other farmers about it, even giving them what was left of his product.

“They all came back to me saying they were really pleased with the results, no negatives at all. One of the people I showed it to was quite an established farmer, who had a number of calves with scouring. He tried Biosupport and, like me, was completely amazed with the results. He was practically raving to other farmers about how good the product was, and came back to me saying how thankful he was I told him about it.”

Another key drawcard was Biosupport’s cost-effectiveness, although Shane admits to not thinking about price once he saw the product at work.

“To be honest I didn’t even look at the price once I’d tried the samples and saw the results. I was just like ‘Wow I want this in all my calves’, you know. With the scouring, to heal that cost $5 a tablet which was an average of $600 a year. But they don’t get scouring anymore so it’s no longer an issue.”

For more information talk to your local Fonterra Farm Source team visit

Article supplied by NZAgbiz