Open Day Friday November 30th 2018

We have announced the date for our annual open day! It will be held on Friday November 30th at our Southdown store, We will be open from 10am-7pm.

Every year we have lots of reps in store, they will each have great offers on their products. We have triple points for loyalty card holders or open a loyalty card on the day! Below are some of the reps confirmed to be on store on the day..

  • Bowmans Dog Food

  • Dodson & Horrell Horse Feeds

  • Dengie Horse Feeds

  • Global Herbs

  • KM Elite

  • NAF (Natural Animal Feeds)

  • Purina

  • Protexin Equine Premium

  • TopSpec Horse Feeds

  • Horsey Keep Sakes

  • Saracen Horse Feeds

  • Lincoln

  • Cootes the vets

  • Christmas Gift Stand

We will be giving sneak peeks into the offers available on the day via our social media pages.

There will also be refreshments, and a free prize draw. Make sure you pop in and see us!

Safety whilst driving with your pet

The Highway Code states drivers need to ensure ‘dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly’.

We all agree that there is nothing funnier than seeing a dog with its head stuck out the window, but, the law recommends a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or guard as ways of restraining your pet while driving. If an animal roaming freely around the vehicle is said to have contributed to causing an accident, then an insurance company could be well within their rights not to pay out on a claim.

With this in mind, we have brought in the new ‘Sotnos Triple Safety Harness’.

This harness is extremely good quality and boasts the following features -

  • Four point adjustment

  • Car restraint clip

  • Seatbelt attachment loop

  • Reflective detailing

  • Training attachment

  • Comfy padding

  • Grab handle (for extra security whilst walking)

Bertie (pictured on the right) came into our store to have his new harness fitted this week. He is also wearing the Sotnos anti-jolt lead.

We have this harness and lead in stock at our Southdown Store and all our staff are happy to help get one fitted to your pet, it comes in sizes XS-XL.

Sinclair McGill grass leys - Farmers Weekly

Farmers Weekly - August 3, 2018


A higher stocking rate and a shorter time to finish lambs is enough to encourage Sussex-based farmer Jeremy West to grow more higher quality grass. Greater reliance on temporary leys has meant that lambs reach finishing weights in less time and his stocking rate has increased six-fold, at least. Ewes are also less reliant on supplementary feed.

 “It all depends on the season,” says Jeremy, who farms the 344-hectare unit on the South Downs, between Lewes and Brighton. “But we’ve seen a massive improvement in lamb performance when they’re grazed on high quality grassland.

Dry summer

Thanks to young productive grass leys, Jeremy has ‘weathered’ the dry conditions this summer - something he would not have managed if he was still relying on old grassland. “We didn’t need to feed any pellets to lambs – I avoid this as it takes the shine off the job,” he says.  

“We did close the ley up for three weeks at weaning; something we don’t normally do, but because the ewes were on neighbouring grassland we had to move the lambs off to some poorer grass. Maybe this paid off, in that the grass soon greened up and when the lambs returned, in early to mid August, there was plenty of feed.

“We don’t routinely weigh lambs, but I did notice that growth rates slowed down when they were on the old grass swards. They’ve picked up now, back on the temporary leys. This highlighted the value of growing grass with good feed quality – it pays off.”

He’s integrating this ‘temporary’ grass with combinable crops and roots. It’s a rotation that’s still ‘under development’, according to Jeremy. “We’re increasing the amount of grass in the rotation – this year we direct drilled 30ha of the Extra Lamb mixture into spring barley stubbles.”

When it comes to reseeding, and justifying reseeding costs, Jeremy says that it’s difficult to be precise on the actual costs vs benefits. “There are knock on benefits of having the grass as part of the rotation.” He estimates that actual reseeding costs about £260/ha (£105/acre) if the contractor cost is added. “This depends on the cultivation work required. If the ground is quite level and we direct drill into stubbles then there’s less ground work needed and costs would be lower.”

Jeremy lambs 200 Texel x mule ewes in February, then the rest – 300 mainly Mule crosses – in April. He looks for a lambing percentage between 1.65% and 1.75%, and if conditions are good, he can finish lambs in 12 to 14 weeks.

 Lambs are sold to a local butcher or through Hailsham market, from May onwards. By the end of July, Jeremy hopes all but about 80 are sold from the February lambers, leaving him free to crack on with the cereal harvest.

Until recently they’ve relied on grassland that was part of an environmental scheme. “We used this for rearing and finishing lambs. The problem here was that the leys were old and unproductive. Stocking rate was only five to seven lambs per hectare. And ewes looked poor on this old grass, so we relied on bought-in feed to boost their condition pre-tupping.”

 While some of the farm remains as permanent pasture, Jeremy is growing more ‘temporary’ three- or four-year leys and using a seed mixture – Sinclair McGill Early Start or Extra Lamb. This combines high proportions of tetraploid perennial ryegrasses, a white clover blend and, in the case of Extra Lamb, Timothy. “I look at the catalogue then run my ideas past the specialists at our local merchants Bodle Brothers. We’ve a good relationship with them and they’ll advise us on choice of mixture.”

The new regime is providing Jeremy with early grass growth and plenty for ewes and lambs early in the spring. “And it’s persistent – it keeps growing through spring and summer. Depending on the season, we may take a cut of haylage, particularly off first-year leys, if there’s too much grass. These mixtures are giving us some flexibility.”

What Jeremy’s really pleased with is the increased stocking rate that the more productive grassland offers. His stocking rate has leapt up to between 37 and 44 lambs and ewes per hectare. “Not only that, but they are reaching finishing weights of between 40kg and 44kg two weeks earlier, depending on the season, and they’re looking great. There’s no doubt that the higher protein and energy in this grass boosts their weight gain significantly.”

Jeremy opted to grow more grass when corn prices were low. “It seemed to make more sense – we could improve lamb productivity as opposed to struggling against falling corn prices and being open to the volatility of the cereal market. Grass became the third crop in our rotation.”

 A decent autumn sees the grass start to grow and by late February Jeremy looks to graze the newly-sown leys.

 “We’ve always spent time and money on grassland, but we’ve now moved it up a level and are treating it more as a crop. The extra reseeding has added to our costs, but these have been far exceeded by the feed value and yield of the grass.”

 The farm still has around 120 hectares of permanent pasture – some of it is gorse land on the Downs – which is used for the ewes after weaning and before they move on to the roots.

 Around 40 hectares of stubble turnips and forage rape are drilled after winter barley and fed to the ewes during the winter. This land is then drilled with spring barely.

“We’ve been using roots and rape for five years and this works well for the ewes. While ewes still get some concentrates in the lead up to lambing, we now feed far less. The combination of the root crops and better grass makes us far less reliant on bought in feeds.” Both, Jeremy believes, have a place in the rotation on this unit.


Winter Nutrition Evening!


We are very excited to announce that we are holding our first ever in store evening!

The evening will be packed full of information about Gut health and Nutrition in Equines. Including talks from Liam Gamble MA VetMB MRCVS, There will be time to shop with exclusive offers on the night. 

Dengie have provided 10% off their entire range, you can take as many bags as you want, the perfect opportunity to get stocked up on Fibre!

Protexin will be offering a FREE Protexin Equine Premium baseball cap with all purchases & a FREE Quick Fix / Gut Lix with purchases over £20.

Tickets can be purchased in store or over the phone, there is a limited amount available and are being sold on a first come first served basis.

We look forward to you joining us on the night! 

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Crystalyx Early Discount Rate 2018

The Crystalyx Early Discount Rate offer is back and is effective until November 2nd!

This EDR discount applies to all full pallets delivered direct to farm during the EDR period. 

Give our office a call for more information and prices - 01444 242131

Crystalyx works best when forage availability is good. Crystalyx stimulates the Rumen bugs to work a little harder and more efficiently to allow animals to perform better from a forage based diet.

But how does Crystalyx perform during periods of poor grass availability?
When grass availability is poor, such as the very dry conditions we have currently, the farmer has 2 options available to try to maintain animal performance:

  1. He can feed straw or another conserved forage, as a forage supplement at grass

  2. He can feed a little supplementary concentrate at grass

Currently in the UK  grass availability is poor - and what grass is available is likely to be of low digestibility – offering Crystalyx alongside a supplementary forage or concentrate source will significantly and economically improve animal performance. And feeding Crystalyx will ensure that the rumen bugs are able to improve the digestibility and nutrient release from what little grass is available, so the stock make best possible use of it.
And perhaps equally important, keep growing animals and replacement heifers maintaining their target growth rates to achieve a suitable mating weight by 15 months of age, so they can be served to calve down at 24 month.
Feeding Crystalyx may not solve all the problems associated with poor grass availability – but it does take some licking!

We stock the entire range of Crystalyx at our Sotuhdown Store, this includes - 

  • Sheep Extra High Energy 
  • Sheep & Beef Standard
  • Cattle High Mag
  • Pre-Calver 
  • Optimum
  • Cattle Booster
  • Calflyx Easy Breather
  • Garlyx
  • Organyx Plus
  • Organyx Garlic

Topical Topics


Here are some Topical Topics to help keep you in touch…


Reduce annoying flies around your stock...

Crystalyx GARLYX – Developed for maximising animal performance at grass, and providing all the usual benefits of Crystalyx together with the natural high sulphur compounds present in Garlic that repel biting insects, and reduce seasonal irritation. We will be running offers on the 22.5kg buckets in our Southdown Store.

-Game Cover Seed-
We have a small surplus of game cover maize if anyone is looking for a good deal.

Ask us to quote for the rest of you cover crops & game feeds…..we may just surprise you.

 -Grain Trade-
The long awaited market improvement is happening at last. Please talk to us to consider the merits of selling for harvest & working out the best strategy to fit your business.

The early Nitrogen market drop is just around the corner. We think that this year will be a good time to buy early against a backdrop of bullish oil & grain prices.

EfficiNt28 foliar nitrogen comes into its own this time of year as the topsoil dries up & bagged nitrogen becomes more wasteful. Tank mix with T3 sprays on cereals.

Applications to maize crops in full canopy is way more productive than putting all the nutrition into the seedbed.

-Bale Wrap-
Silage & Haylage making is in full swing. We are stocking our tried & tested 1650m long, 5 layer bale wrap, full cover 3600m netwrap & twines from Hesston to HD.

-Silage Additives-
We firmly believe that Ecosyl & Ecobale offer the most proven mode of action & enhanced animal performance.

-Dennes Wheat Trials Day-

Friday 22nd June, Stelling Minnis, Nr Ashford.

Andrew Bourne gives an extremely informative day, demonstrating the virtues of many varieties, fertiliser regimes & ag chem practices. It’s definitely worth the trip!

-New Website-
We are proud to launch our smart new website. Please let us know what you think of it.

You can also follow us on Twitter @BodleBros 

-And here’s thought-

What is a business? It’s simply an idea that makes someone else’s life better
— Richard Branson

Have you visited our Bucketorium?

If you havnt yet seen the extensive range of brightly coloured buckets and yard equipment we have at our Southdown Store, pop in and have a look!

We have a whole Bucketorium dedicated to tools that will make your yard life easier. We also have smaller sized equipment for children. Remember you can gain points on our loyalty card when you buy from our Southdown Store! 

Visit our social media pages for regular updates on what going on in store. 

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The need for Magnesium


A great article written by Dr Cliff Lister 

Although the annual rate of hypomagnesaemia/staggers/tetany (low blood magnesium) in UK dairy cows is less then 1%, one third of affected cows will die. These clinical cases are the tip of the iceberg; the rest of the group may also be sub-clinically affected. Hypomagnesaemia remains one of the very few veterinary emergencies on farms.

There are no hormonal mechanisms in the body to allow cows to regulate their blood magnesium levels. Maintaining blood magnesium levels is therefore entirely dependent on short term (daily) absorption of magnesium from the diet because the magnesium stored within the body is not readily mobilised by the cow.

Lactating cows (both beef and dairy) are particularly prone to hypomagnesaemia after turnout to spring grass because they have a high requirement for magnesium for milk production. The higher the milk yield, the higher the daily magnesium requirement.

Hypomagnesaemia can occur due to a low magnesium intake (due to low levels in grass, when grass alone is fed) or because the magnesium has a low availability (a poor efficiency of absorption) within the cow.

What affects the level and availability of magnesium in spring grass?

A low soil pH reduces magnesium uptake by the grass

High potassium levels in grass reduces magnesium availability in the rumen

Increased rumen pH after turnout reduces the solubility of magnesium, so less is absorbed by the cow

More rapid passage of food through the rumen reduces the time available for the absorption of magnesium.

There are 3 key criteria for an effective magnesium supplement:

The magnesium level in the formulation

Its palatability and therefore the intake realistically achievable – particularly important when the supplementary magnesium is to be fed free choice

The availability of the magnesium to the cow.

Crystalyx Cattle High-Mag contains 10.5% magnesium and is formulated with dehydrated molasses to ensure palatability even on lush spring grass. Independent research at Glasgow Vet School has confirmed the availability of the magnesium in Crystalyx Cattle High-Mag is superior to any other pure calcined magnesite source evaluated at Glasgow (so the magnesium is more efficiently absorbed by the cow).

And because Crystalyx Cattle High-Mag contains the full range of essential trace elements and vitamins often lacking in grass, the risk of other nutrient deficiencies is also reduced.

Crystalyx Cattle High-Mag is a palatable, cost effective self-help feed lick that can help to maintain normal blood magnesium levels this spring.

Remeber Bodle Bros ltd are the main agent for Crystalyx in Kent Surrey & Sussex, Give us a call today to discuss how we can help!