Dorper ewes are picky eaters, therefore if you spread out their mixed rations for them, they will pick out all the delicious bits and leave behind the less tasty fibre that is actually good for them.
Christo Dorfling from Weenen in South Africa is a potato, maize, and pig farmer, but his Dorper stud is his pride and joy. He cultivates, mills, and mixes his own feed rations for his sheep, but there is wastage due to picky eating.
“Another problem is that they cough and sneeze from the dust in the fine feed, and I have had many cases of prolapse,” says Christo. Prolapse or rupture occurs when the anus is pushed out due to the pressure when there is constant coughing or sneezing.
His solution was to pelletise the feed. He says: “Since I started using the Rumax pellet machine, I have not had a single case of prolapse. There is less waste, the pellets reduce the dust factor in the feed, the sheep grow well and at the end of the day I save on my feed bill.”
Another bonus is that during the heating process, phytoestrogens that may be in the mixture are destroyed. The oestrogens contribute to the phenomenon of prolapse. Christo did a lot of research to find a suitable electric pellet machine that could do the job well and that did not break the bank. He says he does not need a giant machine for his herd of 400 sheep, but when the machine runs, it must be able to do the job thoroughly and without interruptions.
They make around three tons of pellets a week with the right formulations for the different age groups and pregnant ewes.
He plants yellow maize for his animals and once the maize has been harvested, he then sows vetch and oats that are grazed through the winter. The last growth is left to mature so that he can cut and bale it. It forms the roughage component for the feed mixtures.
At feeding time, the bales are cut and mixed with the necessary concentrates, and then it gets pelleted with the Rumax pellet machine for the sheep. Christo installed a conveyor belt on the machine to make handling of the material easier.
The small machine does not have a built-in cooler like the larger models. The temperature of the pellets that come out are between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius, therefore the bags need to stand open overnight so that the pellets can cool off, hereafter the bags can then be closed and packed away.
Christo is very satisfied with Rumax’s service. Shortly after the machine arrived on the farm, there was a problem with the chain. “I called Johan Steyn at Rumax. Two days later I had a brand-new axle and chain, and I never had a problem again.”
Rumax’s machines are built to last in Africa. Maintenance is also easy. The last material of the day that you insert should be dry so that it can clean the sieve, and furthermore you just need to grease the chain and make sure it does not slack.
Contact Jaco Pieters at +27 82-335-3970, +27 23-342-6070 or email@example.com for your feed solution. Also check out their other equipment at www.rumax.co.za.