Deepwater Farmers’ case study
Thanks for taking the time to read a little about what we do and some of the exciting changes we are making to farm and animal health. We, Eric and Catherine Tighe, run Heal With Ease. This exciting young business has a passion to help people, animals (both pets and livestock) and more recently soil to regain health and wellbeing.
Below you will find a case study of a farming operation that we have been working with for a little over a year. Our congratulations goes out to Scott for persevering with the process to get the results to this point, which we feel is still only the beginning. We have used some basic tools to start working on day to day issues with a more compassionate mind set and some more advanced processes to work on the deeper long term issues.
We have been working with Scott’s farm for a little over a year now and the changes are very noticeable. Here is a reminder of where we started in May 2011.
At this point Scott’s farm and production system was in a lot of trouble with his older ewes not very well at all. Fertility had been down for quite a few years despite all his efforts. At this point he had lost 500 of his 2,300 lambs to an unknown cause. He had asked a lot of experts for advice. Despite drenching and feeding a lot of extra feed and nutrients, the lambs were still dying. To make things worse, it had been one of the best seasons for a long time as far as weather and rainfall.
A little info about Scott’s systems. His farm is at Deepwater in NSW and over the last ten years he has been running a cell/rotational mixed grazing practice. Over the years, as with most of these systems, water had been run in troughs to several paddocks.
He had started with a little pasture cropping and had tried liquid teas and composting at different points.
Breeding both Hereford cattle and Lerelmo blood Fine Wool sheep for many years, he was using very good genetics with a very well thought out and established system. It should have been working as a model farm using up-to-date sustainable farming practices.
Despite all this and the paddocks carrying a good body of feed the soil had been slow to respond and improve.
So when we came on board to help with the 2010 lambs health and review of Scott’s systems, at first look everything appeared to be okay.
Since then we have run several healing plans on both Sheep and Cattle focusing on animal health at the next level of awareness.
In our work we look at health in a holistic way, which is quite different to the normal. It was while conducting this process that we came across a lot of the underlying problems that had been carried by his stock at a subclinical level and manifesting to the physical level as ill health.
This allowed us to identify the bacteria’s that were causing the health problems.
Once making the changes needed we saved the rest of his 2010 lambs and by November 2011 a fair percentage of these young sheep had reached good condition. The wether portion being sold for very good money direct for slaughter.
By scanning in August 2011, five months later we had picked up the ewe’s health which allowed a joining that was similar to the year before. They scanned at 80% in lamb and a very small amount of twinners. We had a way to go.
Shearing went well and once lambing started, it was noted that his lambs had a real want to live, a higher percentage than usual survived to marking and they did well right through to weaning.
We have continued to make changes, slowly working deeper and deeper in to the health of his sheep to a point now that the 2010 drop ewes have not had a drench since January and his older ewes since March, which in the New England wormy country is quite an achievement.
The older ewes have had a huge gain in their fertility rate lifting to 97%, with 12% twinners.
The young ewes still have a way to go, coupled with the fact that Scott has had limited numbers to do any sort of classing on these sheep, as numbers were needed after such a major loss the year before.
We know that some of this information is only subjective but the comments on the day of scanning were very positive. Some of these were that the ewes have grown more wool, are in better condition, eating less, showing more worm resilience and with a 17% increase in fertility in the older ewes, this can only be positive.
We are currently running soil trials on Scott’s paddocks with initial results very promising.
Working with our understandings and testing procedures we are continuing to fine tune and improve Scott’s productions systems. We are shedding light on a lot of the limiting factors and offering some answers.
We have many years of experience managing properties. We have always been looking at the best systems for gaining and maintaining stock health in a sustainable process. We are still growing and learning but so far we are making good progress.
Whether you are running a conventional system or looking to change over to an organic farming system, looking at health in a different light will help to bridge the gaps that are affecting all our bottom lines.
Energy remedies are an allowable input in organic farming.
By Eric Tighe, Heal with Ease
To see our recommended remedies for your farm, stock and property click here.