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Visitors to cattle pens at agricultural shows prove that it is not only farmers who appreciate a beautiful animal, but few realise how much research and planning go into a feeding program to get an animal into that peak and sleek condition.
Along the way there are many potholes that can cost the farmer pots of money in losses, but simultaneously there is plenty of expertise which the farmer can trust to assist him in getting his auction bulls fattened up and his purse full.
That is why Andrew Green of the farm Kleinfontein near Ladysmith in KZN believes in harnessing Molatek Beef Fat 33+ of RCL Foods to feed and fatten his herd. “The service and expertise provided by the Molatek team is the reason why I use their product,” says Andrew.
“I breed Bovelder cattle and hold an annual production auction. I select 25 to 30 bull calves which means that only the best genetics will be put up for auction. I approached the Molatek team about two years ago to discuss my feeding requirements and I have not had regretted it for a single day,” says Andrew.
When you a Molatek client, they don’t just sell you a bag of feed, pocket your money and then disappear. That is a no-no because a Molatek feed specialist come to visit you on your farm, look at your herd and then do a proper scrutiny of what you really need. Molatek takes note of what the farmer needs and what raw material you have out of own sources to mix into a feed. They then make up a recipe for the specific herd depending on his reason for feeding the livestock. The rations and mixtures for bulls that have to be prepared for auction, will differ appreciably from those to be fed to a cow for culling or weaner calves fed for the abattoir sales.
“The multi-purpose in which Beef Fat 33+ would be used, is also an advantage,” says Espee Olivier of Molatek. “When it comes to the maturing and preparation of auction bulls the Green family prefer feeding Beef fat 33+.”
Andrew believes that the bulls should be fed smaller quantities of the bull mixture over a longer period so that they grow slower and not become too fat in the process. That is why he kicks off by feeding Beef Fat 33+ at 1% of the bull’s weight. This is gradually increased to 2%. This process already begins in March although the auction is only held in September.
Neale White explains it as follows: “We include 16% Beef Fat 33+ in the ration. That is why the protein concentrate is packed in bags of 40 kg. In this instance four bags are fed on a ton of feed consisting of mealies, soy oilcake, or Molatek Bypass and Molatek molasses meal, which makes the mixture tastier and more economical while the farmer has no headaches with open half bags cluttering his mixing shed.”
“Beef Fat 33+ is a scientifically made up from different protein sources, which consists of various amino acids. This promotes growth, muscle development and fat deposition. The sugar cane base of Beef Fat 33+ contains sugar as energy source in the place of starch. This also helps to prevent claw growth of the hoof among the bulls, and also other health risks.”
“Apart from the excellent service from Molatek, Beef Fat 33+ is a very good product. It is a fully fledged concentrate, easy to mix and use. All-in-all it is excellent value for money,” says Andrew.
The product also contains a growth stimulant in the form of Monensin. This not only promotes feed turnover, but also prevents the greedy feeders from over-feeding and bloating.
Espee also explains how important it is to allow enough feeding space per bull to prevent one bull trying to dominate the others when feeding. Because of this Andrew split his bull herd into smaller groups and also providing more feeding troughs.