Goat and Sheep Milk New Zealand June 2022

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Sonia champions the British Alpine Goat breed P29



JUNE 2022 News, Advice, Breeds, Import/Export, Technology, Farm Focus, Profiles, Science, Facts, Contacts and Much More in this publication dedicated to the Goat & Sheep Industries


INTERESTED IN BECOMING A DAIRY SHEEP FARMER? Talk to us today about dairy ewes and milk supply options

Find out more at springsheepmilkco.com or contact suppliers@springsheep.co.nz

From the editors New Zealand is now firmly in the grips of winter and farmers are experiencing significant rainfall in the North Island while the South Island is looking forward to more seasonable weather patterns over the next two months. On the economic front, Rabobank is warning the country’s dairy farmers to prepare for a bumpy economic ride in the coming season with China’s slowing domestic economy and the phenomenal growth of its own dairy industry. June also saw the agriculture sector’s proposal to avoid being forced into the emissions trading scheme in 2025 by proposing that farmers count their emissions and get a discounted levy for making reductions or planting trees. It formed He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) which is a partnership between farmers, agricultural sector industry bodies and Māori – with input from Primary Industries and Environment ministries (read more here). In this edition we, again, focus on some specific topics relating to goat and sheep milk supplied by AgResearch, Massey University and our advertisers. We are also featuring articles on deer milk production – as a further alternative to cow’s milk – and focus on the British Alpine Goat breed, as well as offering industry related information. We trust that you will enjoy this edition and that our publication will provide a meaningful experience combining the material from our advertisers in with the contributions from the research-related articles. Best wishes Romano Manuel and Mike Dwight

Contents Managing Mastitis in Dairy Ewes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 New Zealand’s Dispute with Canada over Dairy Quotas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Increased sheep comfort, reduced stress levels with the Ultimo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sheep Milk Lotion Recipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Nutrition support during lambing and kidding . . 8 Ryrie celebrated for role in Sheep Milking Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Global Goat & Sheep Milk Market Outlook 2022 . . 9 Artisan Cheese + Craft Beer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 New drive to harness Mātauranga Māori for Aotearoa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Schuler Brothers from Te Aroha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The benefits of sheep milk for skin . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Romano Manuel EDITORIAL

A complete portfolio for goat and sheep milking in New Zealand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

PHONE: +64 220 454 892 EMAIL: romano@goatandsheepmilk.nz

Udder Issues Limiting Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15


PHONE: +64 272 639 564 EMAIL: mike@goatandsheepmilk.nz

POSTAL: PO Box 9003, Springfield Heights Rotorua 3048 New Zealand


Milk powder consumption and nutritional value and digestive comfort in older adults . . . . . 18 Australia: Operation Fly Formula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Hygiene a necessity with automatic feeders . . . . 21 Goats remain susceptible to internal parasites . . 21 Choosing an effective probiotic for successful calf rearing this season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Challenges of rearing goat kids and lambs . . . . 23 Reaching for the ultimate in breeding stock . . . 24


Deer Milk – On the cusp of a new industry . . . . . 25

The views expressed in the articles and advertising are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Goat and Sheep Milk New Zealand.

Proven Milking Solutions with Proven Benefits . . 27

Goat and Sheep Milk New Zealand reserves the right to accept, edit or reject editorial and advertising material. All endeavours will be made to ensure accuracy at time of publication. For any queries regarding information that is published in Goat and Sheep Milk New Zealand contact names and information pertaining to that article is usually printed or embedded. Goat and Sheep Milk New Zealand is happy to receive feedback regarding the publication but will not accept abusive or derogatory correspondence to any staff or persons connected.

Cover Image: John Ryrie from Spring Sheep Milk

Lamb Rearing with Milligans Feeds . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Sonia champions the British Alpine Goat breed . 29 Three things to ask about colostrum powder for lambs or kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Rustic NZ Gruyere and Pumpkin Pie . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Managing Mastitis in Dairy Ewes: You Can Contribute to an Exciting Research Project Greg Chambers BVSc, MVS (Dist. Epi)

Mastitis (inflammation of the mammary gland) is a fact of life for all dairy livestock, their farmers, and processors. The bovine dairy industry has had decades to accumulate a wealth of knowledge and tools for measuring and managing mastitis, but, as a newer industry, less is known about it in milking sheep. Greg Chambers, a veterinarian and epidemiologist at EpiVets, is passionate about the New Zealand sheep milking industry and wants to help it grow. One small way he can help is by combining his enthusiasm for sheep milk with his research and analysis skills and experience as a dairy vet. Sheep farmers and industry partners identified mastitis as a research priority. Mastitis is known to not only affect animal wellbeing, but also milk quantity and quality, milk processing, lamb growth rates, farm efficiency, and profitability. Furthermore, mastitis significantly inflates the environmental footprint of producing a litre of cow’s milk, so the same probably applies to sheep. Based on that clear signal, Greg is starting a research project this spring that will establish baseline mastitis information for the New Zealand sheep milking industry and help farmers manage mastitis. Individual farmers have done a lot of high-quality independent work with their advisors, but farmers and vets are ready for information collected systematically in a coordinated way across the industry to make evidence-based decisions. Based in Te Awamutu, EpiVets is a new veterinary research team with three veterinary epidemiologists and two technicians, and they are very proud to take on this project. With help from his team, sponsors, industry advisors and Massey University experts, Greg will coordinate the research, which focuses on clinical and subclinical mastitis, causes, risk factors, treatments, and diagnosis and monitoring. The goal is to communicate results, practical advice, and provide tools for farmers that can be applied on farms. Starting at lambing 2022, Greg aims to enrol 20 farms and, striking while the iron is hot, collect as much information and as many samples as possible. Participating farmers will collect milk samples from all ewes with clinical mastitis and fill out a form to collect information about the ewes and treatments. Greg and his team will visit each farm in early, mid, and late lactation to examine and sample 30 randomly selected ewes. The ewes will have a visual and physical udder examination, their teat ends will be scored, and milk samples will be collected from both glands.


Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

The samples will be used for rapid mastitis test (RMT), somatic cell count (SCC), and laboratory work looking at bacterial loads and species. This will help answer questions like “Are lumps associated with high SCC?”, or “Can we use RMT in sheep?”. The treatment records, culture results, and laboratory testing of mastitis samples, will help decide if any treatments stand out, which will be useful for lobbying for registered mastitis treatments. Nobody enjoys the 35-day default milk withhold! The research won’t fix mastitis on farms immediately, but it will provide the basic information needed for any further work, such as developing solid management tools and selecting potential treatments. Enthusiasm and encouragement from sheep milking farmers and companies have been overwhelming. Greg is extremely grateful for the sponsorship and support of Spring Sheep, Maui Sheep Milk, Sheep Milk NZ, Massey University, AGMARDT, The Society of Sheep and Beef Cattle Veterinarians of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, Virbac New Zealand, Boehringer-Ingelheim New Zealand, MilkTestNZ and several veterinary, animal health and management experts. It is a privilege to be part of such a passionate, positive, and collaborative group of people who are all striving to grow this exciting industry. Greg is applying to Massey University for scholarship funding, but he is still looking for sponsors to help meet the full scope of this research. If you would like to co-sponsor this research in some way, Greg would love to hear from you and give you more information! Contact details: P 027 416 7865 E greg@epivets.co.nz

New Zealand’s Dispute with Canada over Dairy Quotas

Minister Damien O’Connor

During May, New Zealand initiated dispute settlement proceedings against Canada under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) challenging Canada’s administration of its CPTPP dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs). New Zealand’s Request for Consultations to Canada (the mandatory first step in a proceeding brought under CPTPP). A press release by the Minister for Trade and Export Growth can be found on the Beehive website. This is the first dispute New Zealand has taken under a free trade agreement, and the first dispute that has been taken by any party under CPTPP. Under CPTPP dispute settlement rules, New Zealand and Canada will now enter into formal consultations.

If the dispute remains unresolved after consultations, New Zealand can request the establishment of a panel to hear the case. Trade and Export Growth Minister, Damien O’Connor, commented that “New Zealand has an excellent relationship with Canada, who are one of our closest partners in the world. We have appreciated Canada’s engagement on this issue at different levels over a number of years and these proceedings will not come as any surprise to them.

High Energy Feed Licks for Milking Goats and Sheep

Occasionally even good friends disagree, and it’s for that reason dispute settlement mechanisms in free trade agreements such as CPTPP exist to provide a neutral forum for settling such disputes when they arise”.

Optimise Performance With Crystalyx It is well understood that offering additional supplementation to dairy sheep and goats will bring health and production benefits in terms of colostrum quality, lamb and kid birth weight and subsequent milking performance. The difficulty however lies in the last third of gestation where the rumen is compressed by the uterus making it difficult for the expectant mother to consume enough feed to maintain a healthy energy balance. Crystalyx Extra High Energy contains 16 ME MJ/kgDM and is proven to expertly balance the energy shortfall that is often seen in late pregnancy, reducing the risk of sleepy sickness and improving offspring survival. Trials conducted in Spain and Sardinia conclusively prove that ewes and goats maintained better body condition in late pregnancy and had an improved milking performance in early and mid lactation. Offspring were found to grow quicker whilst suckling with high yields being maintained post-weaning.

*Forage Plus not suitable for sheep

Independent research carried out by the Animal Science Department, Bonassai, Sardinia recorded 7% increase in milk yield, 12% increase in fat and 9% increase in solids.

*Organyx Extra not suitable for sheep


With typical intakes between 20-30g head/day Crystalyx Extra High Energy or Crystalyx Forage Plus offers cost effective supplementation that improves animal health, performance and on farm profitability.

Contact North Island Jamie Taplin +(64) 027 6550 089 Jamie.taplin@crystalyx.co.nz

Contact South Island Brian Ferns (+64) 027 5970 198 Brian.ferns@crystalyx.co.nz

Increased sheep comfort, reduced stress levels with the Ultimo New Zealand’s dairy sheep industry continues to gather momentum with more interest from farmers looking to convert from dairy cows or enter the market as first-time producers. Waikato Milking Systems Small Ruminants Specialist Andy Geissmann said designing the best equipment and technology to assist the dairy sheep industry’s development is a key focus for the company. “As the demand for dairy sheep milk increases, so too will the demand for fast, efficient, and reliable milking systems. That’s why we designed the Ultimo Internal Sheep Rotary Milking System, to ensure farmers reach their productivity goals and to ensure the best comfort and care for their animals.” Andy was heavily involved in the Ultimo prototype which was commissioned on a Cambridge farm in the Waikato in 2020 and has been operating faultlessly during its first two seasons. The Ultimo is capable of milking up 960 sheep per house at a 4.5 minute rotation speed. “We’ve designed it so it can be configured in 60, 70 and 80 bail size platforms to suit the unique conditions of a farm. We can even vary the size of the bail, from standard to large, to cater for various sheep breeds and body frame sizes.” Sheep won’t back into a milking bail like dairy cows on an external platform so the Ultimo has been configured so the sheep are always moving forward. “The animals are always walking forward. They walk forward onto the platform and then forward to exit the platform at the end of milking.” Rubber matting on the deck makes standing at milking time more comfortable for the sheep. Enticement feeding also helps to lure the sheep into the bail and provides the correct level of nutrition set by the operator.

“All of these element’s help lower the stress levels of the sheep, it keeps them calm and promotes faster milk let down.” The Ultimo is also designed for operator comfort. The internal operator station provides full visibility of the animals at all times. “It means any problems can be detected very quickly, the platform paused if needed, so the operator can attend and restart milking.” Andy said the Ultimo can be operated with one or two people and adding automation technology, when the time is right, will reduce labour requirements further. “We can already fit our ECR-S range of electronic cup removers, SmartPULS, In-Bail Feed, Cluster Washer and Automatic Headlocks to the Ultimo. “Soon we’ll be able to add animal identification capability which will open up another level of animal performance data which will help farmers make important management decisions for their flocks.” Andy said the Ultimo was built to last, constructed from durable materials that are superior to anything on the market. Its modular design ensures fast and easy installation. It uses a bolt-down system which means there is minimum pre-concrete work required to speed up installation. “The stainless-steel platform ensures lower maintenance costs and makes it easy to clean even when exposed to effluent. With proper care and maintenance, the platform will remain looking like new for many years to come.”

Sheep Milk Lotion Recipe • 10oz Distilled Water • 10oz Pasteurized Sheep Milk • 5.2oz Oil (such as, avocado, sweet almond, apricot kernel, sunflower, vitamin E) • 2.3oz Butter (such as, cocoa, kokum, shea, mango)

• • • •

3.9oz Emulsifier 1.9oz Stearic Acid 0.5oz Preservative 0.5oz Essential Oil

Combine all of the oils, butters, stearic acid, and emulsifier in a small double boiler and heat until they are completely melted. While doing this, warm the distilled water and milk in the larger double boiler. Once the oils are melted and liquids warmed, it’s time to blend. Immerse hand blender fully into the pot containing the liquids. Then, slowly pour the oils into the liquid pot as you blend. You’ll want to keep the blender fully submerged to prevent messes. Once your lotion starts to thicken (it takes less than a minute), pour in the preservative and any fragrance you want to use. Blend until everything is combined and you have a thick lotion. If your lotion isn’t thick enough, just melt more emulsifier, add it to the lotion, and blend. Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022


Nutrition support during lambing and kidding Getting through lambing and kidding in the best possible health sets the ewe and doe up for a productive lactation. Health issues at this time can have a significant impact on the ability of the ewe or doe to come into milk well and reach peak milk potential. One of the unique challenges for sheep and goats (compared to cows for example) is the increased energy and nutrient demand from multiple foetuses that grow and develop in a relatively short gestation period. This places significant demand on the dam, which is why we tend to see metabolic issues such as ‘sleepy sickness’ in late gestation with sheep and goats. Sleepy sickness arises from the rapid mobilisation of body condition to meet energy demands, which can put the liver under immense pressure.

A build up of fat in the liver (known as ‘fatty liver’) can then reduce the ability of the liver to function normally, reducing glucose supply, milk production and overall wellbeing of the dam. To reduce the risk of fatty liver, increasing energy density of the diet leading up to lambing and kidding is critical. Feed additives like rumen protected choline can also make a significant impact by reducing the risk of fat build up in the liver. A range of positive effects have been observed in dairy cows1,2, goats3 and sheep4 fed rumen-protected choline, for example improved liver metabolism, reduced liver fat and increased milk production. Rumen protected choline can be added to specialist mineral premixes designed by Nutritech for highperformance dairy sheep and goats. It is recommended rumen-protected choline from one-month prelambing / pre-kidding through to peak lactation, along with trace elements, vitamins and Levucell®SC rumen specific live yeast. Levucell®SC rumen specific live yeast has a specific role in reducing inflammation of the rumen at transition, increasing fibre digestibility and reducing somatic cell count and is best started prior to kidding and lambing. For more information on nutrition options for ewes and does pre and post kidding, get in contact with your local Nutritech Area Manager who can talk you through the comprehensive Nutritech dairy sheep and dairy goat range.

Sheep and Goat Solutions

Protecting ewe, ewe, and you. Increased energy demands during gestation can be difficult to spot. Working closely with many dairy sheep farmers, Nutritech have developed a range of nutrition and forage solutions that support dairy sheep health and performance. Click here to find your local Nutritech Area Manager to arrange an on farm visit.

Call Customer Services...

0800 REMEDY (736 339) www.nutritech.co.nz

We make animal nutrition and forage easy.

Ryrie celebrated for role in Sheep Milking Industry John Ryrie has been with Spring Sheep Milk Co. since its inception in 2015, when he joined as the company’s first Dairy Sheep Manager. This month the company is celebrating Ryrie’s achievements as he steps back from his dayto-day farm management roles and looks to contribute to the industry in new ways over the coming years. Originally from the UK and with a 30-year career in dairy sheep, Ryrie has been instrumental in developing both Spring Sheep Milk Co’s farming operations and the wider sheep dairy industry in New Zealand. He has contributed to many developments in animal health, milking systems and feeding, as well as sharing his experience and passion for dairy sheep with many others entering the industry. Ryrie was first introduced to the New Zealand sheep milk industry in 2014 as a keynote international speaker at the inaugural dairy sheep conference held in Palmerston North. Recalling his visit, Ryrie remembers the energy in the room for the emerging industry which sparked his desire to be involved. Meeting the team from Spring Sheep during this visit, Ryrie recalls standing at the proposed site for the first farm development and contributing to its design even before applying for the job to manage it – a decision which saw him relocate to the other side of the world. COO of Spring Sheep Milk Co. Thomas Macdonald says John has been a tremendous asset to the business as it grew exponentially over the years. “When we started Spring Sheep Milk Co., John was one of the only ones in the team who had first-hand experience actually milking a sheep; he is an absolute wealth of knowledge and was very generous with his expertise. He has played a significant role in establishing Spring Sheep infrastructure and will leave the industry with a legacy of best practice in the welfare and management of dairy sheep in New Zealand.”

As part of the founding farming team at Spring Sheep, Ryrie has seen many changes in both the animals and systems deployed by the company as they have pioneered a profitable and sustainable farming system in New Zealand. In 2016 Ryrie and team were at the forefront of introducing new international dairy sheep genetics to the New Zealand flock working tirelessly to implement the large scale breeding plan which has seen yield per ewe lift from 21kgMS per ewe to over 52kgMS per ewe for the group in the 2021/22 season. In more recent years Ryrie has applied his wealth of knowledge leading the charge at Spring Sheep’s genetic and research farm in Cambridge, Waikato. There he has implemented and overseen large scale lamb rearing projects and numerous farm systems trials that have led to refinement of the practices deployed across the growing number of farms now joining the industry. Spring Sheep are currently seeking expressions of interest from farmers keen to find out more about the opportunities in sheep dairy. The company has opportunities for additional suppliers to join this exciting industry in time for the 2023/24 season. Ryrie says he is proud of what the sheep dairy industry has achieved in New Zealand. “I will always have a soft spot for the sheep dairy industry and the Spring Sheep team, and I can’t wait to see the strides I know they’ll continue to make in the future.” John is looking forward to remaining close to the industry as it develops through using his wealth of knowledge to support and mentor producers.

Global Goat & Sheep Milk Market Outlook 2022 The global goat milk products market size is anticipated to reach USD 17.90 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 4.6% over the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The global market is predominantly driven by the increasing demand for goat milk in infant food and follow-on formula.

You can read more here.

The sheep milk market was valued at US$ 6,129.64 million in 2021 and is projected to reach US$ 8,095.61 million by 2028; it is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.1% from 2021 to 2028. The rising demand for essential food products would propel the market growth during the forecast period.

You can read more here. Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022


Artisan Cheese + Craft Beer Kevin Jenkins – Founder, www.thecheesewheel.co.nz

Like marriage, wine and cheese go together like a horse and carriage. You don’t see a lot of horses pulling carriages nowadays though and matching a quality tipple with your quality cheese has moved on too. The flourishing of experimentation by myriad craft beer brewers and artisan cheesemakers has opened up endless opportunities to have fun matching the two. Janet and Miles King of Kingsmeade Cheese in the Wairarapa are recognised pioneers in both animal husbandry and artisan cheesemaking. They abandoned their plans for a berryfruit orchard and established their dairy sheep operation in 1998. They’ve had their ups and downs, but their achievements are legendary. Their range of cheeses are second to none, and of course they developed their own breed of dairy sheep, the Dairymeade. You can read more about their story here. Janet and Miles never stop experimenting, with one of my favourites being their Robelino which they have produced in recent years. This is a fabulous, delicately flavoured fresh sheep milk cheese. In fact, this is a signature of sheep and goat milk artisan cheese makers in New Zealand – they are always looking for exciting new styles or variations to bring to market. This ever-evolving range of innovative cheeses, often made in small quantities, is the foundation of our artisan cheese subscription service – bringing better sheep and goat milk cheese (and others) to the people. What we have found though is that there is huge appetite for mixing and matching these with other artisan products…and especially NZ craft beer. We had the idea of showcasing small volume sheep and goat milk cheeses as part of the Wellington On A Plate (WOAP) festival a few years ago. Being craft beer aficionados, we thought we’d innovate ourselves and match cheeses with beer instead of wine (hey, we still like matching cheese with wine though!). We partnered with a small brew pub in the hip Cuba Quarter and were stunned when all 32 available places sold out in less than half an hour. We advertised a second night and that sold out too.


Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

In subsequent years we have run WOAP events with leading craft brewer Fortune Favours at their Cuba Quarter bar and have sold out two 72-seat events each year. We now get approached regularly for cheese and beer matching events. We’ve run them in a range of craft beer bars, but also for groups like the Wellington Young Farmers, and company social clubs. We’ve also run online cheese tasting events – without the beer – for a south Auckland Rotary Club and lots of other groups. One of the first points we’ll make is how bacteria is fundamental to both cheese and beer. We also note how some experts argue that beer goes with cheese better than wine because of its freshness, carbonation and complex taste notes. The carbonation helps because it cuts through the density and richness of many cheeses. The more heavy and riper cheeses go well with those beers with a sweeter, slightly caramelised flavour profile.

Kingsmeade presentation at the Wellington Club

NZ craft beer went through a crazy hop period – it still is – and this is a boon for matching with cheese. Hops add bitterness and fruitiness which go well with cheese. A hoppy IPA goes perfectly with a blue cheese, or a hoppy lager with an aged gouda. It’s important not to get hidebound – to keep trying freaky combinations – but one guide might be that mild beers go with mild cheeses, mature, richer-flavoured cheeses go well with beers with a higher alcohol content and styles like brown ales, and sharp blue cheeses love a heavy stout. It’s not that simple though. Take a sharp blue cheese. They can also shine with a hoppy, fruity beer which can take the edge of the cheese and enhance the floral notes and acidity. That leads to the three Cs of matching. Complement is when the cheese and beer have similar taste profiles like a light lager and a medium cheddar. This is not as straightforward as it sounds though – we once tried complementing a smoked cheese with a smoky porter and decided the result was like licking last night’s campfire remains! Contrast is when the two have quite different flavour profiles, but they each highlight the other. A saison with a fresh goat cheese for example. The third is Cut when, say, the sweetness of an American brown ale style cuts through the sharpness of a blue sheep cheese. The key message is that most people – even those with an active interest in NZ artisan goat and sheep milk products – have little or no idea of the range available. However, find a congenial and fun way to expose them to these products – in our case amazing cheeses, and they’ll become fans. I’m not sure it’s the most efficient way to grow our subscribers – planning and running events is hard work – but we love engaging with cheese lovers and it’s rewarding to support our cheesemakers in this way.

New drive to harness Mātauranga Māori for Aotearoa Mātauranga Māori should be seen as adding to the toolbox to tackle the big issues for agriculture and other sectors, rather than something that threatens the science status quo, says the head of AgResearch’s new Māori Research & Partnerships Group, Ariana Estoras. The new structure led by Mrs Estoras is central to AgResearch’s vision to have the knowledge system of Mātauranga Māori in equal footing with Western science and existing structures that have helped support positive change in farming practices and food production in Aotearoa over the decades. The move also helps embed Te Ara Tika into AgResearch’s everyday work, which is a national plan to embrace Te Ao Māori values and tikanga based principles to better respond to Māori needs and better deliver to Māori aspirations. “What we are striving for is an approach where we are adding knowledge and impact to the important science we have always done, so that we can respond with Māori to their needs and aspirations, but also help provide better solutions to farmers and all of society in Aotearoa,” says Mrs Estoras, who herself comes from a background in science. She believes that it is encouraging to see the increasing recognition across the science and research sectors of the value Māori people, resources and knowledge can bring. In agriculture, this means growing connections between the scientists and Māori farmers and landowners who bring huge collective wisdom and a hunger for positive change in line with Kaitiakitanga (living in balance with the natural environment as guardians) of the land. Mrs Estoras hails from Ngāti Uekaha and Ngāti Maniapoto, and as a child spent a lot of time learning from her grandfather on his Waitomo farm. After studying molecular genetics and gaining her Master’s degree in biochemistry, she worked with the Manuel whānau on the East Coast with a genetic disorder that resulted in members of the whānau losing their sight. Her work helped provide the whānau with some answers and was a launching pad for a career in science in Aotearoa and overseas that has since led to her moving into the primary industries, and more recently into leadership as AgResearch’s Director of Māori Research & Partnerships. The focus of the new Māori Research & Partnerships Group is “to continue to build Māori capacity and beneficial Māori-centred research led by and with Māori partners, while taking everyone with us”. “I have been able to work at the coalface with many Māori groups across my lifetime and was able to create bridges between science, policy and funding and what they were looking to achieve, and I get a real buzz from that. I also feel privileged to be among the wāhine Māori in leadership roles in Aotearoa and helping to provide a path for our young people to follow.” Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022



Milking Systems Effluent Management Refrigeration Water Reticulation

Te Awamutu

PH: 07 871 6781 2 Livingstone Brothers Ln


PH: 07 883 3423 89 Tirau St

Otorohanga PH: 07 873 8500 12-14 Progress Dr

Schuler Brothers from Te Aroha Schuler Brothers Ltd own a 236ha (215 effective) farm in Te Aroha West, which started as a small farm bought nearly 100 years ago by Schuler’s grandfather who came from Switzerland. Over time, five other neighbouring farms were acquired for milking cows. Two years ago, the business decided to dip its toes in sheep milk. In their first season Kevin Schuler and his brother Paul converted an old cow herringbone shed and milked 640 ewes on 40 ha. This year the farm has allocated 60 ha for sheep and will milk 1,050 ewes. Kevin says being able to create smaller, flexible farm units forms part of the succession plan for the family business. The lower environmental footprint of sheep milking is also a factor in creating a sustainable farming system. The old shed now boasts a new Rapid Exit and Waikato Milking Systems plant fitted by Qubik. SBL decided on a 40 Aside Herringbone featuring the Waikato Milking Systems Sheep Rapid Exit Milking Solution which has a self-indexing gate system that automatically allocates sheep into individual stalls. The Rapid Exit Gate has been customised to allow split-row release to maximise sheep flow. The 40 aside shed runs smoothly and efficiently with two people milking 640+ sheep per hour.It runs a BP200 Blower Vacuum system with Variable speed Drive. The shed also has the new Waikato Milking Systems sheep clusters with auto teat vacuum and a low line sheep milking cluster system specifically designed for small ruminants.

The system runs a milk recovery system which is essential when dealing with small amounts of very valuable milk. Qubik supplied a Fristam Lobe milk pump and motor which is invaluable as its positive displacement design ensures milk is moved from the plant through the filter and plate cooler without damaging the milk composition, compared to a centrifugal pump. The quantities and viscosity of sheep effluent requires specific treatment and Qubik designed and supplied a system which features a stone trap and effluent holding tank. Effluent is separated using the stone trap, before gravity feeding to a 25,000ltr sump tank. The Mono Effluent Pump 2-Stage 7.5kw and Kelco pressure guard pump the effluent to the holding bladder or pasture depending on the season.

The benefits of sheep milk for skin Milk has been used as a beauty aid for thousands of years, and for good reason. Thanks to science, we now understand what makes it a fantastic skincare option – particularly sheep milk which has been found to reverse moisture loss, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, smooth skin, brighten the complexion and combat acne-causing bacteria and UV hyperpigmentation.

Not only do AHA’s work as a mild exfoliant, removing the dead skin cells that can accumulate and dull your complexion, it also promotes collagen which helps to plump and hydrate skin. AHA’s are also great to help reduce skin discoloration due to acne scars, dark spots and melasma as they help to regenerate healthy skin cells.

Massey University has been on the forefront of scientific research into studies on the topical application of sheep’s milk.

Another important ingredient found in sheep milk is lactoferrin – an antimicrobial protein which helps to improve skin inflammation caused by harsh weather conditions that can leave skin dry and itchy. It works by starving bacteria of nutrients which in turn slows bacterial growth giving skin a chance to heal and regenerate.

The science shows that sheep’s milk has wound healing properties and is beneficial for skin conditions such a psoriasis and eczema. Awassi sheep milk, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin. Furthermore, Awassi sheep milk has a high natural fat content and is rich in vitamins such as A,C,D and E. It also contains lactic acid which is an effective alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) – which is celebrated in the beauty industry as a must-have for skin.

In addition to lactic acid and lactoferrin, sheep milk also contains nine amino acids, four of which are important for skin health. Histidine helps to promote blood cells while repairing damaged tissue. Leucine provides healing properties and decreases fine lines. Lysine helps to strengthen skin. Methionine helps build strong nails and aids skin flexibility. Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022


A complete portfolio for goat and sheep milking in New Zealand Agricom carries out regular trials across New Zealand to help farmers make the best decisions for the most productive pastures for their farming systems, including goat and sheep milking operations. Agricom’s portfolio creates the widest range of opportunities for both traditional grazing and cut-and-carry feeding. Agricom Extension Agronomist, Georgia Massie says growing a diverse pasture mix is important, so it’s worth incorporating herbs and legumes, such as Choice chicory, Ecotain® environmental plantain and a clover such as Relish red clover.

Current trials in Manawatū, Canterbury and Southland are exploring the advantages legumes deliver, including the benefits of Relish red clover and white clover. Georgia points to the trial findings, which have shown that including clover in a milking operation is vital, providing high-quality yield, as well as fixing nitrogen, to encourage a natural nitrogen cycle. While these trials were initially looking for solutions from an environmental regulations standpoint, the increase in fertiliser costs, currently showing no signs of slowing down, has meant the results have been doubly beneficial. Relish red clover works well across both goat and sheep milking operations and is bred to have lower oestrogen levels, minimising any risks to fecundity. Another benefit is the taproot, meaning Relish hangs on longer over the summer than a standard white clover, as well as fixing nitrogen – Georgia says Relish red clover fixes around 26 kg of nitrogen per tonne of dry matter, which has been reflected consistently in the trial work. A singular crop can be a helpful addition to a complete feed system and Agricom Territory Sales Manager Cassey Edgcombe suggests lucerne, such as Titan 5, which can be put in the mix wagon and fed out in the shed as part of the rotation, is ideal for silage, as well as being great in the paddock for sheep.


She says Titan 5 is also known for its persistence and has an element of drought resistance, a real help in light of recent dry conditions. In Waikato, a lucerne crop will last 3-5 years and longer in the South Island.

The herbal advantage Chicory can be part of a pasture mix or used as a pure sward and provides great summer and autumn growth. Georgia is quick to highlight that Choice chicory is an excellent source of the trace elements essential for goat and sheep milking, as is Ecotain® environmental plantain, offering copper, selenium and cobalt. Chicory and plantain have the added benefit of being high in protein, with levels regularly in the early 20s, so are very valuable for milk production. Cassey says including herbs as part of a mix can be one of the main things driving milking through those critical periods in spring, summer and autumn. In addition, Choice chicory has been bred in New Zealand and extensively trialled across the country, showing it to be a consistent high-performer in our environment, as well as having a high disease tolerance. Choice chicory persists well in a pasture mix and can last for up to three years.

• Excellent summer feed • Use in a mix or as specialist crop

• Improved persistence • Provides reductions in within grazing systems nitrogen leaching • High yield potential • Increases feed quality and nitrogen fixation in summer and autumn

Contact 0800 183 358, visit agricom.co.nz or visit your local seed merchant.


Powerful legumes

Cassey notes that, while both chicory and plantain are an asset in a pasture mix, if weed burdens are a particular problem on the property, it’s worth considering keeping them separate from each other, as combining them eliminates weed control options. She acknowledges some farmers prefer one over the other but says both species can form part of the mix as long as they’re managed effectively. Chicory excels through early summer to late autumn, while plantain has a more complete growth pattern, including more cool-season activity. In the Upper North Island, chicory is generally useful to lower the population of black beetles, particularly when following with ryegrass, as it helps in breaking the black beetle cycle.

Flexible finish When both the legume and herb crops start to come to an end, an ideal option is ryegrass. A tetraploid hybrid ryegrass, such as Mohaka with AR37 endophyte, offers high metabolisable energy alongside high palatability, which will aid in maximising milk production. Mohaka provides the ideal tool for undersowing into both herb and clover stands to prolong their productivity. Waikato trials have shown over the first eighteen months it gives an average yield that is 15% higher than a perennial. This bolsters the original crop when it’s running out. If pests are of concern, Mohaka AR37 can also assist in resistance to several common pasture pests and, in northern zones, it provides the greatest potential for persistence, while in other regions, Mohaka AR1 is a good option for both sheep and goats. Cassey says those looking for a perennial option should go for a diploid/tetraploid mix, suggesting the varieties One50 or Legion diploid perennial ryegrasses mixed with Halo, a tetraploid perennial, particularly for sheep operations as they offer persistence that a hybrid can’t, as well as more flexibility.

Udder Issues Limiting Production

Anne Ridler, School of Veterinary Science, Massey University

Over the past five years, researchers at Massey University have done a number of studies looking at ewe udder defects in meat-breed sheep. This has included investigating how common udder defects are, evaluating their impacts on lamb growth and survival, milk production and quality as well as identifying which bacteria were present. A lot of udder characteristics were assessed but the only ones that were found to affect lamb survival and growth rates were lumps within the udder tissue and generalized hardness (“mastitis”) of one or both udder halves. Studies on commercial meat-breed sheep farms showed that on average about 2.5% of ewes have these defects at weaning while another 2% or so developed these defects in the 4-6 weeks after weaning. In a two-year study in a large commercial meat-breed flock, it was found that lambs born to ewes with lumps or hardness in one or both udder halves were 3-5 times more likely to die compared with lambs born to ewes with normal udders. Lambs that survived grew around 25g/day more slowly. A milking study showed a substantial decrease in the daily milk output of udder halves with either lump/s or hardness. However, if only one udder half was affected then in many cases the other normal udder half had an increase in milk production (a compensatory increase) so overall milk production was similar to ewes with two normal udder halves. Milk from defective udder halves had no differences in fat, protein, lactose or total solids compared with milk from normal udder halves, but non-fat solids were reduced. Bacterial culture was undertaken from milk samples from a large number of normal and defective udder halves. Bacteria were more likely to be grown from defective udder halves but were also found in some normal udder halves. A large range of bacteria were found – the most common were coagulase-negative Staphylococci (CNS), Mannheimia haemolytica, Staph. aureus and Strep. uberis. These research projects were funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the C Alma Baker Trust and Massey University. A video, podcast and fact-sheet on assessing ewes’ udders can be found on the Beef + Lamb New Zealand website.

Our portfolio offers all the essential products needed for sheep and goat milking systems, with many varieties being market-leaders. These have been proven, not just in our regional trials, but on-farm as well. Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022



Are my livestock at risk? By Quirien Cowie (BVSc), Ruminate

Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by some of the fungi that grow naturally in a wide a variety of crops and pasture species. Approximately 100 species of fungi produce mycotoxins that are dangerous when ingested. Toxin-producing fungi are common on maize or pasture plants that are harvested and conserved as silage. The most common fungi species that grow on silage are Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium. While visibly mouldy areas of feed should always be avoided, these fungi can produce mycotoxins in part or all of a silage stack when their levels are low enough that they are not noticeably seen and detection may be challenging, even with testing. The effects of mycotoxins on livestock are highly variable due to the wide variety of different fungi and toxic substances that may be present but can include damage to the liver, kidneys, reproductive system, or nervous system. Mild symptoms may include ill-thrift, anorexia, reduced feed conversion efficiency, or gut upsets. More severe symptoms may include diarrhoea, photosensitization, fetal loss, nervous symptoms such as tremors and incoordination, and in very severe cases even death.

The best way to deal with mycotoxins is prevention. Visibly mouldy feeds should be discarded. Good silage practices such as clean, dry bunkers, using oxygen barrier films, and an oxygen-scavenging preservative such as


Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

Siloguard, are essential. Bales stored on farm need to be regularly monitored for rodent damage and grain storage needs to be kept clean and dry. Beyond these practices anyone feeding high levels of conserved feeds or older ryegrass pastures in summer should consider using a mycotoxin binder and deactivator. Eliotox is more than just a toxin binder. Elitox utilizes a combination of both binding and deactivating toxins, while providing support for the immune system and liver function which are often challenged by mycotoxins. The broader mode of action allows for better management of a wider range of mycotoxins.

Elitox may benefit your livestock if you are; 1.

Feeding grains or conserved feeds that have mouldy patches.

2. Grazing or feeding ryegrass dominant, older pastures that may have a high proportion of wild type endophyte. 3. Feeding a high proportion of conserved feeds such as hay, grass silage, maize silage or earlage. 4. Feeding conserved feeds at high-risk times. Ruminants are most affected by mycotoxins when pregnant, during peak lactation and, during periods of rapid growth. 5. Herd level issues with scours, fetal losses, poor production, or reduced growth rates and diagnostic testing has not found an underlying cause. (Discussion with your veterinarian should always be the first step in dealing with animal health issues.)

For Ruminate, it’s all about making New Zealand farmers, proud farmers. And they do that through high-spec animal nutrition and service. Ruminate’s proven science, premium feed additives and highly experienced team, bridge the nutritional gaps to bring animals to a premium state. All of this results in happier, healthier stock, and ultimately more profitability for Ruminate’s farmers. Nutritional specialists Ruminate, understand the plentiful and exciting opportunities within the sheep and goat industry and they’ve backed this up by having a dedicated Veterinarian in the team. Quirien Cowie, with her mindset of offering farmers a top-of-the-cliff service, is committed in the goat and

sheep nutrition space. Working alongside farmers to build a strong plan looking at all the nutrition requirements of a ruminant throughout it’s different phases. Quirien’s role with with Ruminate sees her travel across New Zealand to asisst her goat and sheep farmers, where she has become an intergral and valuable part of their business. Interested in learning how Ruminate can help your business?

Let’s talk. Quirien Cowie (BVSc) E: quirien@ruminate.nz T: 021 808 377

Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022


Milk powder consumption and nutritional value and digestive comfort in older adults A new study comparing the addition of cow, goat, or sheep whole milk powder to the diets of older women, for digestive comfort, nutritional status, and metabolism has commenced. This study is a collaboration between Massey University’s Riddet Institute and the University of Otago. A grant of $1,410,978 has been awarded by the High-Value Nutrition (HVN) Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga National Science Challenge and the industry partner NIG Nutritionals Limited (NIGN). The whole milk powders are provided by NIGN (goat), Miraka (cow) and Spring Sheep Milk Co (sheep). The project aligns with the HVN aim of developing high-value foods with validated health benefits to drive economic growth. Consuming milk confers nutritional and digestive health benefits in infants and children. However, the longer-term impact of milk intake on nutritional benefits and digestive comfort in older adults is less known. Older adults – and older women in particular – often avoid milk for perceived adverse health reasons. In old age, milk avoidance is associated with low intakes of protein, calcium, and other important nutrients, lower muscle mass and strength and increased fracture risk. In addition, older adults do not digest or metabolise protein as well as younger people do. Increasing milk intake by older adults, being high in protein and other important nutrients and being easy to digest, may be a solution to these issues. The 60-plus age group is also a growing market segment in New Zealand and Asia, highlighting the commercial potential of older adult nutrition for the dairy industry. The study will be the first of its kind. It builds on research at the Riddet Institute under the MBIE-funded New Zealand Milks Mean More Endeavour programme (NZ3M) that milk from different species have differing composition and structural assemblies (such as casein micelles) that could lead to differences in nutrition and digestive comfort. NZ3M research has shown that compositionally and in structural assemblies, goat, cow, and sheep milk are different. In addition, sheep milk has a higher protein and lipid content than cow or goat milk. NZ3M scientists have also established that the acid reaction in the stomach results in differences in gastric digestion of casein and whey proteins (two major milk proteins) between goat, sheep, and bovine milk. In experiments simulating the human stomach, cow milk forms a casein curd that tends to be harder than goat and sheep milk gastric curds. This observation means the rate at which the digestive system can process milk curds and pass them from the stomach to the small intestine is likely to differ by milk species.


Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

Image supplied by NIG Nutritionals Limited

This effect may result in nutrients, such as amino acids, appearing in the blood at different rates due to the hardness of the casein curd forming in the stomach and how quickly it breaks down. The rate of milk protein breakdown in the stomach may influence digestive comfort, and the rate, amount, and type of amino acids appearing in the blood may influence skeletal muscle building in older women. The Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, will conduct the twelve-week study collaborating with the Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch. Four groups of about forty older women aged 60 and older will consume milk twice a day, and a control group will consume their habitual diet but not the milk. Participants will record their experiences for digestive comfort and general well-being. Nutrient absorption, nutritional status, and skeletal muscle function will also be assessed alongside effects on the gut microbiome. The HVN Healthy Digestion Priority Research programme, led by the University of Otago, is a collaborator in the study and will provide expertise in gut microbiome analyses. The study will be completed in 2023. The study will generate nutritional evidence to help consumers decide between products depending on what they want to achieve. For instance, milk from one species may be more suitable for different nutritional needs or digestive comfort; for example, people who experience digestive discomfort with a particular milk type may better tolerate a different type. The outcomes may support the formulation of unique milk products that will improve nutritional status, digestive comfort, diet quality, quality of life, sleep quality and mood while potentially bringing increased economic benefits to Aotearoa New Zealand’s goat, cow, and sheep producers. The study findings will be published in scientific journals, widely publicised through media releases, and available on the HVN, Otago’s Department of Human Nutrition and Riddet Institute websites and social media. For more information, please contact Prof Warren McNabb at w.mcnabb@massey.ac.nz +64 6 951 7742

Australia: Operation Fly Formula In a recent article in The Washington Post, correspondent Laura Reiley, reported on the American effort to replenish the nation’s supply of a critical food source for infants and medically fragile children by importing from Australia. In an all-hands-on-deck multiagency push, infant formula is being corralled from all parts of the globe as part of Operation Fly Formula. At the end of May the Food and Drug Administration announced Australia will send 27.5 million eight-ounce bottles of a variety of infant formulas, from “easydigest” goat’s milk to organic grass-fed cow’s milk and specialty formulas. According to an industry expert, Fonterra and The a2 Milk Company have also submitted applications to the US FDA to export their products to the US.

The imports come as Washington scrambles to respond a shortage of baby formula that has left shelves bare and parents struggling to find food for infants and children with special dietary needs. The FDA has been sharply criticized for failing to head off the shortage. President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act first on May 18 to address the nationwide baby formula shortage caused by a recall and closure of the country’s largest formula manufacturing plant, by speeding up production of domestic infant formula and loosening restrictions that prevented most foreign brands of formula from being sold domestically.

You can read the full article here.

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www.bpmnz.co.nz | 0800 OPTI 44 19 Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

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Hygiene a necessity with automatic feeders Good hygiene is critical when rearing young stock, regardless of your system, according to advice provided by MaxCare. Animals start their lives with little to no immune system, and we should do everything we can to help them navigate the challenges that are thrown at them early in their lives.

The process to be followed (depending on the machine): 1. Unplug all the hoses from teat clip higher than the bowl 2. Start cleaning cycle – heats to 60 degrees 3. Remove all teats and teat ends and drop in bucket with detergent 4. Run water through mixing bowl with some detergent and start blender until it nearly overflows – run for 20-30 seconds

As much as we will never be able to eliminate all the disease risks, we can minimise these risks with good hygiene. There is an increased uptake in the use of automatic feeding systems across calves, lambs and kids, and hygiene is a vital component to ensuring the success of these automated systems.

5. Unplug all hoses from wall and drain half the bowl through the hoses

The pointers below are intended to make this job quick and easy, so that it can become part of your daily routine:

9. Drain remainder of liquid through hoses

Daily cleaning of the machine is vital – Spend 10-15 mins/day cleaning the bowl

Weekly Cleaning – Spend 30 mins once/week for deeper cleaning.

6. Clip hoses back up 7. Scrub mixing bowl, especially around high milk mark 8. Top up with water and start blender 10. Refill with fresh water and run through hoses – repeat three times to flush hoses 11. Remove hoses from the bowl and run ball sponge through the hose with water gun – this cleans out the hoses (<10 seconds/hose) – leave end of hose in bucket or you lose the ball

It’s important to note that often issues show up after 72 hours if cleaning is not undertaken.

12. Plug all hoses back on

What is needed:

Every machine will be different so for more detailed information please contact the manufacturer at: maxumanimal.com

• •

1L of dishwashing detergent ball sponge.

13. Restart the system.

Goats remain susceptible to internal parasites Unlike sheep, goats remain susceptible to internal parasites (worms) throughout their lives. High levels of internal parasites may cause ill-thrift, scouring, weight loss, anaemia and sometimes even death. Young goats, underweight animals or goats suffering other health problems are particularly at risk. Treating with an anthelmintic or ‘drench’ can remove worms but it is important to get the dosage and type of drench right. Using a single active drench for goats is not recommended as drench resistance is widespread in New Zealand. Drench doses are weight dependent. Underdosing is likely to be ineffective and may encourage drench resistance. Overdosing can result in poisoning, particularly with levamisole (‘clear’) drenches or mineralised drenches containing selenium.

Careful management can help reduce your reliance on drenches to control internal parasites: • Use cattle or horses to cross-graze pastures as these do not share the same parasites as goats. • Avoid grazing goats with lambs and hoggets. Both goats and young sheep are very susceptible to internal parasites and share the same worms. • Allow goats to graze longer pastures. Forcing goats to graze very close to the ground increases their parasite larval intake. • Feed supplements such as hay, silage or commercial pellets/meal. This will reduce your goats’ pasture larval exposure and keep them well fed. • Avoid overstocking and overgrazing. Too many animals on a property results in short pasture covers and increased pasture larval contamination. • Parasite management involves many factors. Talk to your vet about the best parasite management plan for your goats. Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022


Choosing an effective probiotic for successful rearing this season The value of probiotics is well known in the maintenance of intestinal wellbeing with people and increasingly there are a number of options available to the New Zealand goat and sheep sector. Blue Pacific Minerals (BPM) have pulled together a team of professionals to roll up their sleeves and immerse themselves in developing and delivering an effective product range, giving farmers a smart solution to support modern farming. Blue Pacific Minerals (BPM) have partnered with Kemin® to launch the Optimate™ range for goats and sheep and OptiKid and Lamb which are smart solutions, combining NZ zeolite, specific vitamins and minerals with CLOSTAT® an antibiotic free, probiotic, with extensive history of use across all livestock sectors globally. CLOSTAT® contains a proprietary, patented strain of Bacillus subtilis, PB6 – a unique, naturally occurring probiotic – helping maintain the balance of microflora in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. All products in the range use BPM’s Optimate, an ACVM registered toxin binder and a number are mixed with the probiotics. Goats, sheep and kids and lambs love the taste of the zeolite so it is therefore easier than ever to distribute to them, all premixed in a bag and easy to measure. The goat and kid range of products will be available from rural retailers nationwide or call 0800 OPTI 44, 0800 6784 44, www.bpmnz.co.nz

AS USED IN and Providing the best start in life

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Challenges of rearing goat kids & lambs Lambs and Kids often seem more suspectable to illness, especially if born prematurely or are born from a multiply birthing. Some issues you can face but not limited to are scours, acidosis, thiamine deficiency (PEM), internal parasites, coccidiosis, hypothermia, bacterial meningitis, scabby mouth, foot scald, white muscle disease, weak kid syndrome, pneumonia (various forms), floppy kid syndrome, joint ill, enterotoxaemia, other mineral and vitamin deficiencies and the list goes on…. One of the most common issues is diarrhoea, this occurs with many illnesses and is a symptom rather than the illness itself. Treating the diarrhoea and what is causing it, is important. Possible reasons for scours include sanitation, infection, dietary changes, and stress. You can read more by going to the website. Young ruminants also do not produce their own Vitamin B until their rumen is functioning fully.

Thiamine is essential for the brain to function and any deficiency is often a concern, especially when weaning on to solid foods. B12 deficiency can also cause loss of appetite resulting in poor growth, often referred to as a starvation or wasting disease even though the animals are usually grazing adequate feed.

A pail of goodness to encourage strong, healthy, fast growing kids or lambs

www.bpmnz.co.nz | 0800 OPTI 44 23 Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

Reaching for the ultimate in breeding stock New Zealand sheep milk supplier Maui Milk has reinforced its commitment to raise even further the standard of its milking sheep stock by the appointment of the vastly experienced genetics expert Greg Hamill. Hamill is the general manager of Southern Cross Dairy Sheep based at the Waikato Innovation Park in Hamilton, the company’s head office and the location of its milk processing plant. One month into the job (at the time of writing), Hamill says his immersion into the sheep milk industry “has been a rollercoaster”. “It’s been interesting immersing myself in the different technology. We are in the infancy of genetic coding in the sheep milk industry whereas the cow milk industry has 100 years of animal recording and data. “When you think about genetic gain, you focus on production. So you need good udders, good feet and your animals need to be able to perform multiple lactations. “The major challenge we face is that this industry is still in its infancy here in real terms. We and our suppliers are still learning how to milk sheep effectively as many of our suppliers have completed only one or two seasons. “At this point, we have relatively limited software to capture the data. It’s not like the dairy cow industry where the national data base collects millions of data entries per day that can be utilised. However the genetic fundamentals remain the same: breed from your best animals, cull your worst animals, and feed them so they can fully express their genetic potential.

Imperative to main selection pressure “If we maintain selection pressure, we will get superior animals. If the fundamentals are in place, lambs born will provide milk in a year, unlike cows which provide milk only two years after birth. When you get a base of animals which have been breed from the next base, you will achieve a genetic gain.


Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

“In real terms, genetic coding in the New Zealand sheep milk industry is in its infancy, having effectively started out in 2015. We imported new blood lines in 2017. Prior to that, our sheep were from a very narrow genetic pool. We need to breed from the best animals so that they can express their genetic material.” Turning to the quality management of sheep stock, Hamill says Maui Sheep Milk currently has 14 suppliers spread predominately around the Waikato. “This gives us excellent strategic ability to manage the supply pool. Logistically, our suppliers are close to the processing plant at Innovation Park. Operationally, it’s easier to manage 14 suppliers with a sheep population of around 16,000 in the same region.

World leading dairy genetics Hamill mentions that the Southern Cross™ dairy sheep breeding programme at the Waikino Station farm on the shores of Lake Taupo incorporates the world’s leading dairy genetics. Technological input is garnered from UPRA Lacaune, the breed society for the internationallyfamous Lacaune breed. The Lacaune dairy breed is renowned for its milk production with the bulk of supply used in the production of Roquefort cheese. “We use the Lacaune breed as we find it more suited to the New Zealand environment. It’s a hardier sheep compared to some of the other milking breeds and slightly smaller but with the same milk production.

That suits the New Zealand grass based system and is the basis of New Zealand’s successful dairy cow industry which breeds animals that are efficient convertors of grass into milk solids. That is no different from what we are trying to achieve in the dairy sheep industry.”

Low local awareness Hamill believes there is low awareness in New Zealand of the health benefits of sheep milk as the majority of the country’s products are exported. “We know that the solid component of sheep’s milk is a lot higher than cow or goat milk at around the 18% mark compared to 8-9%. Sheep’s also is also higher in nutritional value with higher vitamin and amino acids per 100g than alternatives. Sheep milk is processed into powder and used primarily for infant formula. It is more readily digested and its fats are better converted into energy compared to cows’ milk.” Maui Sheep Milk has the FernMark Licence, a trademark officially recognised and endorsed by the New Zealand Government. For more information about Maui Sheep Milk, go to: https://www.mauimilk.co.nz

Deer Milk – On the cusp of a new industry

A herd of hinds on the Lincoln Hills deer milking farm on South Island

For the past five years, the team at Deer Milk New Zealand (DMNZ) has been scoping the opportunity of local and international markets to identify the type of premium deer milk products that will be financially viable while offering unique benefits to users. Finally, the hard work will culminate in about six months when DMNZ launches the first stage of their commercialisation strategy. Rebecca Davidson, commercial manager of New Zealand’s and the world’s first privately-owned deer milk farm, says DMNZ “has been working through the discovery phase in terms of what our product will be and what will work for us. We want to leverage on the health benefits of deer milk but we don’t have scale yet. “Deer milk is very high in protein (two to three times higher than cows’ milk) and high in fat. Our research has revealed some exciting results suggesting it is a good source of various naturally occurring elements in those protein and fat profiles. It is also low in lactose which makes it easily digestible for humans. That could be particularly exciting for products such as infant formula, but that product is way down the track.

Graham Carr, right, and Mark Faulks, the founders of Deer Milk New Zealand

“As a natural source of good protein and fats, the benefits are also applicable to the elderly as well as animals such as dogs and puppies. Deer milk is also high in lactoferrin, which helps regulate how well iron is absorbed into the body from the intestine. It therefore benefits the immune system. Deer milk is very high in milk solids at about 25% – a profile that means it has been a bit of a challenging process when it comes to production, storage and processing of deer milk and how that translates to a commercial product.” DMNZ have explored product development opportunities across a range of products. They have developed food products, including ice cream, yoghurt, and cheese. The range also extends to fresh milk, powdered milk, beauty products, nutraceuticals and supplements. “We needed to identify what would be the most efficient commercial decision and that process has been ongoing. But for the first stage of our commercialisation, our products will be related to nutrition and health and we’ll be looking at the global market,” says Rebecca.

The start The genesis of the venture into deer milk farming at Lincoln Hills Farm on South Island, takes some beating. “Graham Carr and Mark Faulks, the founders of this venture, were approached in 2016 by an entrepreneur who asked if they had deer milk he could buy for a product he was developing,” says Rebecca. “Both men have an extensive history in deer farming and bovine dairy farming. They found the thought of milking deer a little absurd and dismissed the idea.” But the innovative concept aroused Mark’s curiosity, in particular, and he reconsidered the opportunity. Out of that chance approach, the deer milk venture was born. In 2016 the first milk was extracted from a hind at the Lincoln Hills farm in the foothills of Mount Somers. Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022


“We milk 600 ewes in just 1 hour with this shed”. Rhys Darby - WAIKATO 42 a-side dairy sheep Rapid Exit Swing-Over Parlour.

“That farm is a breeding farm populated mostly by female deer and fawns. We bring the stags in at the appropriate time and return them to another farm nearby,” says Rebecca. “We’ve got a huge genetic deer operation and have been developing our own deer milking genetics, which will be integral to other farmers wishing to start milking deer in the future. “We converted an existing deer shed on the farm, carefully considering the flighty nature of deer. Mark introduced a herringbone style layout with padded stalls to protect the deer. A rubber protection wall between the hind and the milker has a built-in circular aperture through which the milker can work. Lincoln Hills’ deer milking farm operation is run by a small team headed by the founders, Mark Faulks and Graham Carr. Head deer milker Simon Wakefield is a dedicated, hard-working member of the team whose ideas have brought added value to the enterprise. The uniqueness of deer milk farming has attracted people keen to be part of an innovative enterprise making its mark in New Zealand’s evolving dairy sector. “From an on-farm perspective, we believe we have refined the processes to the point where we have a world-class milking operation. We’ve done the hard yards and the opportunity for growing deer milking into an industry is quite exciting,” Rebecca concludes.

For more information, visit deermilkingnz.com Head deer milker Simon Wakefield has brought added value to the unique enterprise

Retrofit an existing shed, or build new

Lead the way with us. GEA.com/small-ruminant


Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022

Faster animal exiting with Rapid Exit stalling

Proven Milking Solutions with Proven Benefits A quick scan of GEA’s milking technology customers reads like a League of Nations, stretching from New Zealand across to South America, North America, Europe, Scandinavia and Britain.

Ground-breaking milking technology Cost-effectively retrofit an existing shed to sheep milking without breaking ground. With options for either double-up or swingover parlours, get more bang for your buck.

Rhys Darby, a milk sheep dairy farmer in the Waikato, provided insights in the April edition of Goat and Sheep Milk magazine of the benefits that have accrued from the implementation of a GEA upgrade on the family farm. GEA completed retrofit solutions that included the conversion of a 36-a-side herringbone dairy parlour into a 42-a-side sheep milking parlour. GEA’s milking solutions extend from the implementation of state-of-the-art milking parlours to milking robots, milking rotaries, feeding systems, milking equipment, herd management, hygiene and service, and manure management. The company says that it is able to provide solutions for both internal and external rotaries, double-up or swing-over rapid exit parlours and state-of-the-art automation for a future-proof milking system for sheep and goats. The SR Internal Rotary offers a continuous milking process ensuring the highest milking performance. The most significant advantage of the External Rotary is the provision of an extra rotation for slower milking animals while maintaining a continuous milking process. The SR Rapid Exit is one of the quickest milking parlours in terms of animals milked per hour thanks to fast entry and completely open exit area.

Retrofitting solutions “We are able to offer New Zealand dairy farmers cost-effective retro-fit solutions to customise existing sheds for dairy sheep milking,” says Sarah Buchanan, Marketing Manager, GEA Farm Technologies. “With this new and evolving market, our primary conversions have been refitting cow sheds that are no longer used into either double-up or swing-over parlours suited to sheep or goat milking. It’s a great way to get a new milking plan without building a complete new milking facility.”

For more information about GEA’s milking solutions and other products and services, go to: www.gea.com

One of the quickest parlours available

Lead the way with us. GEA.com/small-ruminant

Perfect for new builds or retrofits

Lamb Rearing with Milligans Feeds By Melissa Yockney

Inland from Mt Somers, in the Ashburton Gorge, lies Castle Ridge Station. This high country property covers approximately 5900 hectares of high altitude land, starting some 700m above sea level. It is exposed, with very little shelter, and a short growing season. Kerry Harmer, along with her husband Paul, farm this land with a herd of approximately 600 Angus beef cattle, and more than 14,000 Merino ewes. Of those ewes, 12,000 are mated to a Poll Dorset ram. While the ewes generally yield a scanning rate of more than 140%, in Mrs Harmer’s own words ‘Merino’s don’t make the best mothers as they don’t count very well!’ And in the somewhat harsh conditions that high country properties like Castle Ridge often get at lambing time, the wee new-borns don’t really stand a chance if mum forgets they exist. Mrs Harmer hated seeing lambs dying for no real reason, so set about finding a solution – and that solution was lamb rearing. She and her team would bucket-feed up to 120 orphaned lambs or lambs of multiples and after many years, in 2012, Castle Ridge Station bought its first automatic lamb feeder. They now operated 3 auto-feeders and rear between 700 to 800 lambs who would otherwise not survive. Castle Ridge Station has used Milligans Multi Milk Replacer, a casein-based product, since they first started lamb rearing.

* Bag design may vary from what is shown.

Milligans MMR is suitable for lambs, goat kids, cria and foals (among others) and Mrs Harmer says they have always found it to be really easy to mix and, most importantly, the lambs do well on it. As numbers of lambs at Castle Ridge grew they started to yoghurtise the mix, which she said helped reduce the abomasal bloat risk. With that change to automatic lamb feeders back in 2012 it was decided to move towards a whey product, too. All lambs are still started on the MMR for the first couple of weeks, before moving to the GOmulti product (which is a 50:50 casein/whey blended product) and then onto GOlamb Whey which helps further reduce the instances of lamb bloat. Mrs Harmer says “this works really well for us, and the product is always consistent.” Along with the milk replacers Castle Ridge Station also uses the Milligans ExcelPlus Colostrum powder. “We have fine-tuned a system which seems to be very good at giving the lambs a really good start to reduce health issues later on. We like the higher IgG level in the Milligans ExcelPlus Colostrum and the fact that I can get it in bulk when needed,” Mrs Harmer said. “Milligans have been great to deal with and we work together to continually see how we can do things better, they are keen to look for solutions and new ideas,” says Mrs Harmer. “We like that the company is NZ owned and operated, and that being local means supply tends to not be an issue.”

Sonia champions the British Alpine Goat breed Sonia Gibbons’ interest in British Alpine Goats came about by accident 12 years ago. Her daughter, a primary school pupil at the time, needed to adopt a goat for her school’s Agricultural Day. This first goat was not a British Alpine, although he was a handsome dairy breed wether who introduced her to the type of bond that one develops when they obtain a dairy goat. Sonia drove a route to work past a property where a breeder owned several beautiful black and white goats which took her eye and strenghtened her resolve to obtain a breeding pair. No guesses as to the breed of those animals. Today, Sonia is the President of the Alpine Goats of NZ Association. She feels that Alpines “grow into your heart”. In fact, being lactose intolerant means that goats milk helps improve her health immensely. Although only about 1,000 of these animals are farmed in New Zealand, their distinctive characteristics and unique attributes make them highly sort after, Sonia says. The first batch of Alpines arrived in New Zealand from Australia in the fifties. They are now farmed across the country, with a concentration developing north of Auckland. At present, Alpines do not produce as much milk as Saanens. But Sonia believes that had a genetic programme been more rigorously administered over the years, the Alpines would have out-performed Saanens.

As a hobby farmer, she manages to produce over 4 litres a day per goat. A top-producing Alpine should get over 5 litres, but even that figure is significantly behind the quota for commercial Saanen goats that on average produce around 6 to 8 litres. Nowadays, moves are underway to open up the genetic programme to breed Alpines that are able to produce more milk. Sonia also enters her goats in various shows, including the AMP Show which has a dairy goat section. Her preparations for showing her goats is aided by her membership and the goats registration with the New Zealand Dairy Goat Breeders Association. She feels that Alpines, as “classy, pretty animals”, have a good chance of winning awards. The NZ Alpine Goat Association is affiliated to the New Zealand Dairy Goat Breeders Association (NZDGBA). This organization provides support and training for all dairy goat breeders, as well as dairy goat enthusiasts, across New Zealand. The NZDGBA defines the British Alpine Goat as a Swiss type. “They are large in size, graceful, with a smoothly blended body exhibiting an attractive dairy type. Predominantly black, they have the same white Swiss markings as the Toggenburg.”

For further information go to: https://www.nzdgba.co.nz/british-alpine

Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022


WHY LAUNCHPAD18? Quality colostrum is vital for growing newborn lambs or kids into strong, productive animals. They should receive a minimum of 10g IgG* within the first 12 hours of life. Launchpad18 is pure, whole colostrum. In other words, it’s gold colostrum that is frozen, transported, thawed and dried. There are no additives and it’s not manipulated in any way. High in fat (min 18%) and high in IgG (min 18%), it is an excellent source of immunity and energy for newborn lambs and kids.

18% IgG = 20% more IgGˆ than the next best option Natural, whole colostrum gold, dried & packaged as it comes from the animal Convenient. One feed per animal = immunity delivered Can be used to fortify maternal colostrum Easy to mix



One feed is all it takes A newborn lamb or kid* needs 10g IgG in the first hours of life 200mL (one feed) delivers 10.8g IgG per lamb/kid 600g Launchpad18 makes 2L liquid colostrum – enough for 10 lambs/kids

Feeding Launchpad18 to small ruminants? Very small lambs/kids may not take 200mL all at once. Here’s a guide to giving the animal two smaller feeds. *Assuming birthweights of lambs/kids are approx 4kg. ^ IgG testing done May 2020.

0800 64 55 76 www.agrivantage.co.nz

Three things to ask about colostrum powder for lambs or kids Providing a newborn animal with colostrum within 12 hours of birth is vital, we know that. And if maternal colostrum is unavailable or poor quality, a colostrum replacer can provide a healthy alternative. So, how do you select a good colostrum replacer? Price is always a factor but remember that a product selected on price may not give a newborn lamb or kid the start it needs. Consider these points when selecting a colostrum powder:


Do you need a colostrum replacer or a colostrum supplement?

Although very similar, it’s important to note the difference between a colostrum replacer and a colostrum supplement. A colostrum replacer is designed to completely replace the first feeding of colostrum – most often when high-quality colostrum is not available. A feed of colostrum replacer will provide at least 10g of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) which is essential for achieving passive transfer in a lamb or kid. A colostrum supplement, on the other hand, is designed to be fed in conjunction with maternal colostrum. On its own, a colostrum supplement cannot replace high quality colostrum. Depending on your requirements, both options provide different benefits. However, a colostrum replacer is more cost-effective as it can be used as the sole source of colostrum or to enrich maternal colostrum.


Has pasteurisation retained the natural ratio of all ingredients?

Products listed as “whole colostrum” are just that; made from colostrum collected from dairy cows. The colostrum must be heat-treated (pasteurised) to eliminate any potential disease-causing agents, such as Johne’s disease. Heat treatment is key here. Where standard pasteurisation involves high temperatures which can reduce IgG content and damage growth factors, whole colostrum is pasteurised through carefully timed heating and cooling cycles with regular testing to preserve the natural ratio of all ingredients, keeping key colostral components intact.

Rustic NZ Gruyere and Pumpkin Pie

Serves 4-6

Kathy Paterson was inspired by a recipe from TheGuardian. com food writer Anna Jones but added her own twist using NZ cheese and making a couple of tweaks. This is the perfect dish to make the most of the autumn pumpkin harvest. • • • •


Processing, required




Whole colostrum products provide a valuable source of nutrients, in particular fat – which provides a highly digestible and readily available source of energy for the young ruminant. These products also contain non-nutritive (growth) factors which support early growth and gut development as well as the establishment of the microbial population in the gut. A whole colostrum replacer is high fat and high in IgG. Many colostrum powders sacrifice fat for a high IgG content, or viceversa. In some processes, they ‘de-fat’ the product to increase the IgG concentration. In taking out the fats, an important energy source for the newborn is gone. Other products are ultra-filtrated to achieve higher IgG concentration. While this helps to ensure a high intake of IgG, the ultra-filtration process can remove many of the important hormones and other growth factors usually found in colostrum. In the case of low IgG products (with high fat content), you must feed considerably more colostrum to achieve passive transfer of immunity (10g of IgG/kid or lamb, or 100g IgG/calf). AgriVantage’s Launchpad18 is a whole colostrum replacer.

• • •

1 tbsp olive oil 25g unsalted butter 1 onion, thinly sliced 450g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 15mm cubes 1 tsp coconut or light brown sugar 2 tsp balsamic vinegar 3 eggs, lightly beaten, 1 is for brushing Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 120g NZ gruyere, grated • 25g NZ cheddar, freshly grated • A small bunch of sage leaves, fried For the pasty • 300g flour • 30g NZ edam, grated • 150g unsalted butter, chilled, chopped

For the pastry, put the flour, edam and butter in a food processor with a pinch of salt. Process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add 80ml chilled water and process until the mixture comes together to form a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling. Fry the onion in the oil and butter over a low heat for 5 mins, or until soft. Add the cubes of pumpkin and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 mins. Add about 125ml water and bring to a simmer. Cover, return the heat to low and cook for 20 mins, or until the pumpkin is soft. Stir in the sugar and balsamic vinegar, then allow to cool. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured board into a 30cm disc and put this on the prepared baking tray. Put the cooled pumpkin mixture in a large bowl and mash it roughly, leaving a few bigger pieces for texture. Add 2 beaten eggs and season well with salt and black pepper, then stir in half the gruyere. Sprinkle the remaining gruyere over the pastry, leaving a 2cm border. Fill the centre of the pastry with the pumpkin mixture, then fold over the 2cm border and roughly pleat. Brush the pastry edge with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with cheddar. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve the pie warm, garnished with fried sage leaves, if using.

Find more recipes on the Cheese Lovers NZ website.

Made from first milking colostrum, it is frozen, transported, thawed and spray dried. Proprietary processing methodology ensures that, although the colostrum is pasteurised, key colostral components are maintained. Containing a minimum of 18% fat and 18% IgG, Launchpad18 is balanced, high energy and will help achieve successful passive transfer. One 200mL feed of reconstituted Launchpad18 (or 2 x 100mL feeds) will ensure a lamb or kid receives 10.8g IgG in the first 12 hours of life. When it comes to colostrum replacers, your decision is an important one – you only get one chance to start an animal off well. Article supplied by AgriVantage Goat & Sheep Milk NZ - Issue 7 | June 2022



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Considering converting to Goat or Sheep farming or expanding your existing operation? At DeLaval, we provide dairy farmers with systems that are specially designed to fulfil their needs. Whatever size of your project - we have the solution for you. With the full back-up support of our global network, whether it be parlour specification, feeding systems, barn layouts or rearing facilities, our team of local experts can assist you throughout your journey.

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