Farmers’ Diaries: Ipeleng Kwadi

Ipeleng Kwadi, Brits, North West

Because it is now winter and the grass has dried off, cattle need a supplement to get sufficient nutrients. The fodder-flow plan has been in place from the beginning of May, in preparation for the dry season.

For our supplementary feed, we give the cows sufficient protein to increase their digestive potential. The cows are rotated rapidly through smaller camps so that they do not waste energy searching for food.

We feed yellow maize and molasses for energy. We also provide salt blocks and add a bit of salt to the licks to improve feed intake. Salt helps maintain appetite and body weight and increases feed consumption and weight gain in heifers and steers.

Because cattle do not like the taste of minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, which are bitter, or calcium, which dries out the mouth, adding salt to the minerals provides a better chance of sufficient intake.

It also provides minerals that are essential for muscle, nerve and immune system function, as well as healthy coats and reproductive ability.

Besides this, we must also ensure there is enough clean drinking water in all the camps. Cows in calves get extra feed to help them maintain good body condition while they are maintaining the unborn calves. We use Ivomec Gold to control ecto-and endoparasites.

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