“Fermentation has improved our breeding significantly”

Healthy calves are the basis of good breeding. Things are going well at Henricus Hoeve in Beneden-Leuwen (Gld.). The ladies look beautiful and are in excellent health. Until about 1.5 years ago, there were digestive problems – structural diarrhea – in the calves. That changed from the moment fermentation was applied to the company. Since then the diarrhea has become a thing of the past and the calves continue to grow well and healthy.

“We were able to set the clock so that every calf suffered from diarrhea at 12 days of age,” says Hanneke de Vries-Hoefnagel of Henricus Hoeve. “Good breeding has always been a spearhead in our company. Both for my parents and for myself. We therefore looked for a solution to the diarrhea to optimize the animals’ health and growth. Together with our specialist from Reudink, Robert van Dorst, we looked at breeding and feeding. He also came up with the idea of ​​fermentation.”

Hanneke with her children Daan (6) and Lieke (4). Her husband Wouter also helps with the business.

Prevent digestive problems with fermentation
Optimum nutrition is important for animal health and specifically for calves to approach the weaning period without limping afterwards. If digestive problems such as diarrhea occur, the use of fermentation can offer a solution. “We introduced our fermentation product Reudink RS Health to the family. A product that is easy to apply, which does not affect the taste of the milk, but which gives a boost to the intestinal flora, which promotes digestion. This turned out to be a good move. The calves’ diarrhea has disappeared,’ says Robert van Dorst, organic dairy specialist at Reudink.

Reudink RS Health: for optimal animal health and growth
Reudink RS Health consists of lactic acid bacteria that replace coli bacteria in the gut. These lactic acid bacteria then convert glucose into lactic acid. This lactic acid promotes digestion and has a beneficial effect on intestinal health. Applying fermentation to your animals, with or without digestive problems, provides the following benefits.

Reudink RS Health takes care of good feed utilization, is easy to apply and can be given without restrictions, promotes digestion and prevents digestive problems such as diarrhoea, has a beneficial effect on intestinal health and general resistance and ensures healthy, healthy calves that continue to grow well and enter weaning. period without problems.

Fermentation is easy to apply
“The product is very easy to apply. When a calf is born, it is fed colostrum on day 1. On days 2 and 3, the calf receives the fermentation solution as an addition to the colostrum/milk. For this, we heat colostrum from the cow au bain-marie to 40 degrees. We dissolve 1 jar of Reudink RS Health in 1 liter of water. We add 2 ml of the fermentation mixture per 2 liters of milk. We give this to the calf 3 times a day for 2 days. From day 4, the calf is fed colostrum without additives,” explains Hanneke. There is no characteristic smell or taste to the product, which means that the milk intake of the calves has been constant. It is important that the calf has had enough colostrum on day 1.

“We tried this for the first time in April 2021. Since then we have had no more diarrhoea! The calves also grow well up to the weaning period, resulting in healthy cows. The animals are more vigorous after the first calving and start with no delay in development. I will definitely recommend it to other farmers with similar problems.”

Do you want to know more about fermentation?
For dairy farmers who want to optimize the health and growth of their animals, or who may also have digestive problems such as diarrhea on their organic dairy farm, the use of fermentation is probably the solution. They can contact their specialist or Reudink customer service. They can tell them all about fermentation and how dairy farmers can apply it to their own farm. Reudink also works closely with fermentation specialist Dr. Ronald Scholten (Dr. FERM).

Henricus Hoeve
Henricus Hoeve is the organic foster home for Hanneke and her parents Henk and Marijke Hoefnagel. The agricultural branch of the company has been organic since 2000. There is a modern free-range barn with 50 Red Holstein dairy cows and some young animals. They grow 4 hectares of wheat for their own concentrated feed cultivation and have 5 hectares of forest to capture CO2 and where the litter as ground cover for the barn comes from. With solar panels and a closed circuit, the focus is on sustainability.

There is also the care branch with space for day activities, especially for elderly people who need help. In addition, the family starts a 3rd department in the form of care. They will also switch to the production of A2A2 milk. A type of milk that is more digestible for people who cannot tolerate cow’s milk. The combination makes it a unique company that is seen as an example in the field, also in connection with corporate social responsibility.

“I get joy and pride from the diversity in my work. The combination of farm, care and soon childcare. The freedom to be allowed to run a business and take the best possible care of a small part of the Netherlands. Consciously works with nature, the earth, animals and plants. I am most proud of what we have set up together with my parents, and that Wouter and I are now going to start a 3rd branch”, says Hanneke.

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