The following question came in from a sheep farmer: ‘I am looking for a good feedlot ration for lambs. I have soya bean residues and dry citrus meal available. My lambs currently weigh 33kg at four months. What should I add to this ration, or what formulation should I use to get them up to 45kg in the next two months?’
Dry citrus pulp is seen as an energy concentrate that can replace grain in ruminant rations. The recommended inclusions for lambs are between 10% and 20%. Any more than this may cause a mineral imbalance and limit growth, among other problems.
Our consultant advises: “Soya bean hay (or residue) contains about 10% crude protein, depending on what remains after the harvest. It is usually included at a rate of about 10% to 15% in a backgrounding ration. Lucerne hay, on the other hand, is added to the ration at about 20%. This is because of the higher crude fibre content of soya bean hay compared to that of lucerne hay.
“Remember to include a natural protein source whenever soya bean hay is used instead of lucerne hay. It will compensate for the lower crude protein content.
“This ration will give good growth to feedlot lambs:
■ 200kg Voermol SS200
■ 50kg Voermol Procon 33
■ 570kg crushed yellow maize
■ 150kg dried citrus pulp
■ 170kg chopped (10mm) soya bean hay
“Feed ad lib. Remember to allow the animals a 10-14-day period of adjustment by feeding additional hay during this time.”
Dr. Josef van Wyngaard is a technical consultant for Voermol Feeds.