A new range of pedigree cattle feeds, formulated using key additives to promote feed efficiency, health and performance under the brand name, Stockman's Choice, has been launched by Harbro.

It includes Rumitech, a Carbon Trust assured additive that reduces feed intake whilst increasing lean tissue growth and reducing fat deposition, including less scrotal fat. A recent trial on young bulls showed an increase in their eye muscle area, while fat depth was reduced by 12% when Rumitech was introduced.

With a keen focus on health and immunity, the range includes Rumi Defence which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This additive enhances immunity and improves the function of vital organs, which are undoubtedly under pressure with the levels of performance expected of these animals. Maxammon has been included to increase protein and pH, safely allowing for higher cereal levels to be included.

The range features products to suit animals at every stage, with pellets and coarse mix options as well as concentrates, a blend, a crunch and mash.

Gill and Malcom Pye use the feed for their Salers bulls from Rednock Estate, Port of Menteith, while their females are split, either crossed with the Charolais to produce stores for Stirling market or put to Salers bulls to produce high quality pedigree stock for sale.

“There are only two stages in our pedigree system when we add additional feed to our home grown forage: bulls pre-sale and weaned heifers," says Malcom Pye.

“We think it’s important prior to sale that bull buyers can see the growth capability of the Salers and the performance potential of each sire alongside their outstanding maternal traits for which they are well known.”

Gill added: “We are also expanding the herd and wish to retain as many females as possible, calving down strong, early-maturing replacements at around two years of age, which is a vital element of long-term productivity."

Rednock aims for 2kg daily liveweight gain in bulls post-weaning with optimum use of supplementary feed. “We’ve been working closely with Ian Anderson from Harbro for about three years and have invested in a handling and management facility to assess pen-by-pen performance. If you don’t weigh, you don’t know and we assess feed conversion costs regularly to help ensure the profitability of the business.”

“Over the past five months, we have used Stockman’s Choice Growing and Stockman’s Choice Conditioning Pellets on different pens alongside big bale hay or haylage. When the bulls moved to the Growing pellet, we were able to control feeding to keep animals performing within our desired targets. Using electronic weigh systems, we set our diet feeding for an average 2.5kg DLWG for the growth period between 550-1000kg liveweight during the five months of the new feeding system. All the bulls sold well, either online or through private sales.”

Rednock’s show team is selected out of the herd’s best performing lines using Breedplan EBVs, maternal traits, conformation traits, growth and temperament. Harbro’s Stockman’s Choice Conditioning pellets were used on the show team to meet a different market spec where the animals realised that extra bit of potential.

“We noticed an immediate response to the conditioning pellets, with animals gaining an extra 1kg DLWG when compared to Stockman’s Choice Growing pellets at the same feed rate” says Kenny McKeague, livestock manager.