Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) who promote the highest standards of food safety, animal health and animal welfare in the British livestock industry began a campaign in 2016 to raise awareness and ensure that gamebird keepers, their vets and their feed companies use as little antibiotic as possible.
In May 2017, all 19 specialist gamebird veterinary practices in the UK supported best practice requirements for antibiotic use and prescribing. A number of individual vets have been working with their gamebird clients during 2017 to reduce antibiotics whilst always ensuring bird health and welfare are preserved. This important work continues.
As a result of this campaign Stockmax are finding that more and more game rearers, game farmers and gamekeepers are looking new approaches to tackling disease in their flocks and using Stockmax pine shavings in their bid to promote good health and to reduce their use of antibiotics
As the game-chick rearing season approaches, Stockmax gamekeepers pine shavings part of their strategy.
Manging Director Tim Smalley commented “The game industry is worth more than £1 billion and is dependent on the rearing of healthy birds, with minimum losses. And we are finding that more and within the industry are using Stockmax because they have found that it plays an effective role in this process; it is hygienic, dry and clean and the game chicks do not eat it.”
In terms of hygiene, Stockmax shavings are dried at sterilising temperatures during manufacture. And with reference to animal health, are made predominantly from pine, which has scientifically proven antiseptic properties. Both these factors help make Stockmax exceptionally hygienic, potentially removing the need for any added medication such as Stalisan or Verkon.
When rearing chicks, a common issue is bedding becoming wet, and an additional key benefit of the larger flakes and of a pine material, is that the shavings remain intact for far longer. This leads to the surface area remaining drier for longer – an important aspect in the selection of bedding material for chick rearing.
Eliminating dust is another priority for chick rearing and Stockmax, which is purpose-made from UK sourced British pine is rigorously screened to remove dust and small particles which can otherwise impair breathing, or in the case of game bird chicks, appear to be an irresistible food.
Stockmax shavings are made from large flakes which create a deeper, insulting and more resilient bed, but crucially it makes them too large for chicks to ingest. This is a major factor in choosing Stockmax for chick rearing as significant losses can be incurred from chicks swallowing other bedding types.