Finishing Spring Lambs



Healthy lambs that reach their target  weights in optimal time and then fetch good prices at sale are of course the overarching objectives of most producers. Supplementary feeding a high quality product with a full nutritional profile designed especially for finishing lambs can assist producers achieve these goals.

Neville Tweddle owns a mixed lamb and cropping at operation at Boorhaman, north of Wangaratta and close to Rutherglen in Victoria. He has 800 Merino ewes, breeding to Border Leicester rams for first cross wethers. Last year he supplementary fed his spring lambs with a complete finisher feed from Rivalea for the first time. His objective was to finish them off well before sale.

Neville said, "Last year's lambs were looking pretty good, but I topped them off for four weeks or so with Rivalea's lamb finisher pellets."

Neville chose the Rivalea product because it offered all the nutrients his lambs needed in the right balance. "The Rivalea pellets are a safer option than straight grain. They are a balanced feed with all the right minerals. They're a fool proof choice as I don't have to add anything to the mix. I know they are getting exactly what they need," Neville explained.

"They were fed out via lick feeders. It's a good way to ration out the pellets, knowing the lambs can only eat so much before moving away for a drink. I kept an eye on the feeders, and topped them up around two weeks," he added.

Nutritional expertise is at the core of the Rivalea product range. Rivalea is a fully integrated agribusiness based in Corowa in New South Wales. With experience spanning more than 30 years, Rivalea's innovative feedmill operation is a pioneer in developing world's best practice in the manufacture of high quality pelleted stockfeeds and now produces more than 300,000 tonnes of feed annually. Mark Lister is Rivalea's Territory Manager for North East Victoria. He said the company is fully committed to manufacturing stockfeeds of only the highest quality so that animals can perform to their fullest potential. Mark said, "We set the benchmark high because that's what primary producers expect. Nutrition has such a vital role to play in modern animal management systems. That's why we offer high quality feed solutions and nutritional advice that meet the exacting needs of today's primary producers."

With tight margins a fact of life for most primary producers, adding the cost of supplementary feeding to the total cost of production has to weigh up. Neville was happy with the results he achieved by choosing Rivalea's lamb finisher pellets.

Neville said, "I had to weigh up the benefits of the feeding the lambs the pellets against the price of them. I found them to be cost effective." "I'm happy with the finish of last year's
lambs. They sold well at Corowa, getting prices I was pleased with," he added.

Another factor that plays a part in many customers' decision making, including Neville's, is the convenience of Rivalea's Corowa location and its commitment to the region it is part of. Neville said, "I think there is great benefit in doing business locally. I like sticking with local people. I'd sold some of my grain to Rivalea in the past, so I was familiar with them. Mark Lister, the Rivalea territory manager around here, is also part of our local lamb group here at Boorhaman. And when I decided to finish the lambs with a supplementary feed I made the choice to go with the Rivalea product because they are local."

When asked to evaluate his experience with the product, Neville's answer was straight to the point. He said, "Yes, I'd use Rivalea's lamb finisher pellets again."


STOCK & LAND, December 5, 2013  - Page 14