by Alheit du Toit (Pr Sci Nat), Feedtek
After widespread rainfall over most of the summer rainfall regions, there is every reason to feel optimistic about the coming winter months. The expectation is that abundant roughage should be available for ruminant livestock in the form of natural veld grazing, baled hay, and crop residues, come the start of the dry season.
It is, however, a well-known fact that maturing grass relocates protein from the stems and leaves to the roots when entering the stage of seed production.
Structural fibre and lignin content increases simultaneously. Therefore, the protein content of dry veld grazing decreases dramatically, compromising the protein supply to rumen microbes. This in turn limits the ability of microbes to break down the difficult to digest structural fibre, leading to lower roughage intake, energy deficiency, and eventually animal weight loss.
The first requirement of dry season lick supplements is therefore to supply the rumen microbes with readily available crude protein, in the form of nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) and energy from grain and/or molasses, in order to thrive, efficiently digest roughage and improve roughage intake.
The second is to supply important minerals (such as phosphorus, magnesium, and sulphur), trace minerals and vitamins typically deficient in winter grazing. Depending on the production stage of the animals, additional energy and high-quality natural protein may thereafter be supplemented to improve livestock production and reproduction.
Feedtek supplies a range of specialist lick concentrates that conveniently provide the nutrients required to supplement dry natural grazing and crop residues. Veld Grazer 128 (V30941), Veld Grazer 154 (V16146), and Econograzer 213 (V30942) contain the necessary NPN, minerals, trace minerals and vitamins in the correct ratios. These products are super concentrated and scientifically balanced, and ideal to mix with varying quantities of locally available ingredients such as grain, grain by-products, oilcakes, and salt, to produce balanced lick supplements on-farm. Lick formulations can easily be tailored according to the animals’ needs and specific veld conditions.
Start planning now and contact your nearest Feedtek representative for examples of balanced winter lick formulations, visit our website at www.feedtek.co.za, or contact us on 086-111-5362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.