John Spiers has been farming deer in Hawkes Bay since 1978. John has had a long involvement in the deer industry, including terms as President of the NZ Deer Farmers Association, as a director of Deer Industry New Zealand, as a director of the NZ Animal Health Board, and as a director of the National Velvet Standards Body.
A foundation member of Velexco, marina Deer has twice won the Velexco premier award for commercial velvet production.
Spiers was accompanied by Herman Barnard, a director from Wildlife Ranching South Africa, a very informative visit to WES in Thabazimbi where they were enlightened on the de-bushing procedure of WES and on how WES manufactures its excellent product Boskos.
John learned that Boskos is made of a maximum of 50% indigenous acacia and species bush, the natural feed for concentrate selectors, intermediate types of game. As Boskos is scientifically balanced so that ruminants don’t ingest too much concentrate and develop rumen acidosis. It is also of such a roughage that it will not cause a rumen “blockage.”
John also learned that Boskos contains natural tannin from the leaves of the acacia and sekelbos which assists in protecting game against parasites, as well as being as anti-oxidant and lowers the absorption of iron. A too high concentration can cause “iron retention disease” which leads to death, this is especially dangerous in the Black Rhino. Tannin also helps prevent bloating and colic. Boskos is also rich in natural selenium which highers the fertility levels and stimulants the animals growth.
John was also shown that Boskos comprised of a list of safe ingredients such as hominy chop, molasses meal, yellow maize, Lucerne, Soya oilcake, sunflower oilcake which culminate in a minimum 10 % protein level. Boskos does not contain urea or any other inorganic materials.
To round this complete feed off P12, salt and a mineral/vitamin pack are added to avoid any mineral or vitamin shortages. A shortage in spoor elements or minerals can cause many serious problems, such as, low reproduction, bloating, low growth rate, anaemia, swollen joints, low immunity, to mention but a few.
John and Herman concluded that Boskos is a balanced organic feed. “Out of nature, for nature, a first for Africa.”