It’s time to visit Haye and Gerda Folkertsma in the Dutch province of Friesland. They have been feeding their animals Brio milk powder for more than 20 years; it all started in the province of Groningen back in the time when the family had a sheep farm. There they fed Brio lamb milk, with very positive results. The lambs began to develop very nicely. The Folkertsma family then moved to Friesland, where they started their dairy farm. They have approximately 85 dairy cattle, 35 calves and 35 yearlings.
Gerda feeds the calves. Directly after birth, the calves are dried off using straw and their navel is disinfected using iodine; they are then transferred to individual pens with a nice thick bed of clean and dry straw. They are also fitted with a Brio body warmer. They are fed colostrum directly after birth, for the first 2 to 3 days. The colostrum is always checked using a colostrum meter, so frozen colostrum can be used if it is of poor quality.
After the colostrum, the calves are switched to Brio Power and from the age of one week, they are also fed Brio structure muesli, hay and fresh water. ‘’They soon learn to enjoy this’’, ‘’A while ago, we struggled with diarrhoea among the calves, and I followed the advice to feed them Brio Black Magic, the calves soon recovered and were rid of the diarrhoea. If I now notice that a calf starts to have runny manure, I mix a little Brio Black Magic with Brio Power, which works a treat.’’
The calves look good and are all growing nicely, Gerda says proudly. From the individual pens, they then move into the group barn. Here they are fed milk through a milk bar with 6 teats. ‘’After each feed, I clean the teats, bottles and buckets. This prevents any cross-contamination between the calves. And it gives a fresh and clean bar or weaning bottle every time, which is nice to work with. ‘’
We’d like to thank the Folkertsma family for talking to us, and we hope that they’ll continue to use our Brio products with great pleasure for many years to come.