Autumn is the time for sheep and goat farmers to work at keeping the body condition scores of their ewes up so that when lambing starts in about a month, the lambs and kids will get the best possible start. During autumn grass starts losing quality and cattlemen change to a higher-protein winter lick to stimulate the intake of low quality grass. This increases the intakes of low-quality grass. Tomato tunnel farmers are harvesting the last of their crops before winter’s frosts arrive.
George Kgomo, Mmotle, North West
With the past season’s above average rains we’ve had problems related to wet weather, including footrot and increased tick populations. High temperatures and humidity provide the perfect breeding ground for parasites and we have had high tick loads.
Most of our ewes are pregnant and we expect to start kidding from the end of this month. We feed every ewe a 250g/day ration of a home-mixed supplement of 40% Maxiwool concentrate, 50% crushed yellow maize and 10% salt.
They get half the ration (125g) in the morning before they go out to graze and the other half in the afternoon. This mix has helped us keep their body condition between BCS 4 and BCS 5. We start weaning kids at three months but will push it to four months depending on condition.
The weaned kids are given another home-mixed supplement that contains 75% crushed yellow maize, 20% of Voermoel’s SS200 concentrate for growing out and 5% of Voermoel’s high protein concentrate Procon33. We feed out lucerne bales for roughage a few times a week to the other animals in the flock.
We deworm with Nem-A-Rid® Orange. This is to deal with roundworm, lungworm, milk tapeworm, liver fluke and nasal bot.