Farmcal

farmcal1

Farmcal feed grade lime is a high purity limestone from our Cong quarry. It has a calcium carbonate value of 98% and a declared calcium value of 38% normally (39-39.5%).

It is available in bulk, 1 tonne mini bulk and 25kg bags. It is Department of Agriculture and FEMAS approved.

FAQ:

Why is calcium necessary for livestock?

farmcal3Calcium is one of the main minerals needed by animals to grow, develop and produce.

Its main function in the animal is for bone and teeth formation, smooth muscle contraction, e.g. the rumen, and for blood clotting.  A deficiency or imbalance in calcium can cause poor growth rates, poor bone development, reduced milk output, displaced abomasums and more obviously milk fever.  A lesser known fact is that it can also cause urinary calculi in male animals, (intact or castrated!)

Why do we actually need to add it to rations?

We need to add calcium to rations due to the increased diversity of what we’re feeding our livestock.

The only forage you can feed with good levels of calcium in it is Lucerne or Clover Hay/Silage.  Although Lucerne is being grown by some farmers down south, it’s not common here in Ireland.  Obviously the most commonly fed forage is Grass Silage and unfortunately it generally doesn’t have adequate levels of calcium. The other point to consider is that more Whole crop is being grown and fed here in the west now and its calcium levels are even lower than Grass Silage, the same can be said for Maize Silage.  Then next we throw in grain, which not only has low calcium, but also high phosphorus, which means the need for calcium is even more important.

Who should be supplementing with Calcium?

farmcal2All farmers should make sure they’re feeding some form of calcium supplementation.

It can be fed through a diet feeder or more simply thrown on the silage in front of the stock.  It’s not particularly hard to do and yet still many farmers don’t feed any at all.  It’s of vital importance, especially in a bad year, where silage quality may be poor and more meal is being fed.  The other concern is, due to the economic situation many farmers are facing, minerals are quite often seen as just another added cost, but Calcium is the cheapest mineral you can feed your stock.

What rate should it be fed at?

This is where it gets a bit tricky.

Dosage depends on the animal type/age/weight and purpose.  For adult beef cattle receiving NO OTHER MINERALS it would be between 2 – 4 ounces and the same for Dairy cattle, depending on stage of lactation.  And sheep would be about 10 % of cattle rate. And obviously do not feed Calcium to animals pre-lambing or pre-calving unless under advice from your veterinarian or nutritionist.

What sort of price is it to use?

1c/cow/day

75gms1c/10 x sheep/day

7.5gms/sheep

It’s nothing!  What’s the cost of poor growth rates or reduced milk yields??

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  • I have been a customer of McGraths since I took over the family farm in 2001, as was my father before me. They have supplied me with aggregates, gravel and concrete for all my farm buildings. I have also used their Grolime to maintain correct pH levels, due to their unique location their lime is of a very high standard. In recent years I have been using their Farmcal and Slurrycal cubicle limes. I find that they maintain cows teats in excellent condition and help to produce high quality milk throughout the housing period. I also find they produce very little dust by comparison to other products on the market. McGraths have a thorough knowledge of all the products they supply and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to other farmers.

    Martin Jennings Dairy Farmer, Co. Mayo
  • At first I was sceptical of the benefits of using Slurrycal but the agitation of the slurry tank in March told its own story. Normally agitation would take 2 – 3 hours from two external points; this year after using Slurrycal the tank was fully agitated after 30 minutes from one agitation point only! That saving in agitation cost and hassle alone makes slurrycal worthwhile for me. The slurry was spread after 1st cut silage and the 1st load out of the tank was the same as the last load- all liquid and consistent. There was no residue left on the grass as it spread evenly and was easily washed into the soil

    Richard Savage 150 Herd Dairy Farmer, Co Cork

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