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Optimum application of available resources is the key to farming success in our country.
This is the firm conviction of Schalk Hugo, who farms with his diligent wife, Anelle, near Frankfort in the often maligned flat Free State. Initially they farmed part-time for eight years, but exchanged the city two years ago in favour of the permanence on their farm. Their pride and joy is their Dormer stud, Hugo Dormers, source of a number of national champions and record breaking mutton sheep.
Schalk and Anelle’s love for and enthusiasm to breed with their Dormer stud – and their conviction to produce only the best animals – brought them in contact with Timac Agro and the company’s Calseamag+ mineral licks.
In March this year Johannes van Vuuren, Timac Agro’s Technical Marketer, placed the first blocks in the grazing camps of the Dormer flock.
Corneels Combrink is Schalk’s Farm Manager. He started working on the farm in February this year.
“When I arrived here the rams were having trouble picking up weight at a steady curve. I weighed them regularly. One week they would shed two kilograms and then only regain the weight slowly. After the blocks were put down, growth has become much more consistent. Between weighing sessions each animal now easily gains four kilograms.
“I experimented in some camps by discontinuing the blocks and it became apparent that growth was erratic. The moment the licks were back in the camp, animal growth immediately became more consistent.”
Hugo Dormers hold their regular sale by the middle of August and the Timac Agro lick blocks is a critical component of the preparation and finishing of the animals that will be on sale. “The animals are in a much better condition than previously; their muscles are more defined and the fat layer within the norm. I also notice that, to the eye, the animals look healthier compared with the same time last year,” says Schalk.
“We also found the mineral licks provide a blocking function which prevents the sheep developing acidosis when fed more on a rounding-off diet for a sale,” says Schalk.
He is quite correct, says Jennifer Knight of Timac’s product development section. “The mineral blocks contain as much as possible organic constituents. Our source for calcium, for example, is a seagrass component and not standard calcium additive. The magnesium source is magnesium oxide, which combines with the calcium to form a very strong buffer component. During increased fodder intake in the rounding-off process this combination prevents acidosis.
The mineral blocks are very hard and the animals cannot nibble it – they have to lick. It also contains salt which limits intake. We add trace elements such as vitamin E selenium complex, which promotes fecundity and immunity. Also further micro trace elements such as iodine, zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt.
Improved fodder utilisation
Calseamag+ is formulated to prompt the animal towards improved fodder utilisation. The animal will consume the same amount of feed but its growth will increase because the seagrass enables the digestive bacteria to improve their action. Furthermore the Calseamag+ mineral blocks also improve phosphorous binding, which again improves muscle formation and meat production instead of fat layering.
Timac Agro’s mineral blocks enable the farmer to stow more cash in his purse.
Schalk says: “Johannes visits us about twice every month to monitor the condition of my animals, He moves around on his own and ensures that the blocks are continuously replenished as needed. Timac Agro’s mineral blocks are available from the nearest cooperative store and Johannes himself also has a regular stock on hand.”
Your show animals deserve Timac Agro’s mineral blocks. Contact us at 071-610-8082 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.