Dr. Karl Aadnesgaard BVSc – Zululand Veterinary Hospital, Empangeni
I can’t tell you how happy we were with NoseRings® on our weaners this year. Sure, a few fell out and were lost, however our calves suffered no sores and were infinitely happier without the weaning stress. A huge bonus for us was a significant reduction in losses due to lantana poisoning. Historically, we’ve lost four or five calves per annum, immediately post weaning, despite trying to keep them in lantana free camps. This year we had two mild cases that required no treatment apart from access to molasses, with no losses at all.
Early weaning while green grass is still available was made possible through NoseRing®usage, staggering the groups of calves to be weaned. The companionship/guidance of the mother no doubt also played a role in avoidance of lantana and made the predicted difference to weight maintenance through winter. While a single year’s use is not enough for categorical statements, we were certainly encouraged and will definitely be using them next year. As a veterinarian, if I thought they were in the slightest bit inhumane, I wouldn’t use them. On the contrary, I recommend them unreservedly to my clients.