Importance of proper Drought Supplementation:
Despite the fact that South Africa boasts dams that are significantly fuller compared to this time last year, the threat of drought is something that every farmer dreads. With an average annual rainfall of 450 mm, South Africa is an arid region prone to droughts, which many South Africans seem to forget.
Proper drought supplementation of animals grazing in drought-stricken areas is of the highest importance, to minimise animal loss and the loss of condition of grazing animals as much as possible. Veld quality is compromised during periods of drought and may have a number of consequences such as protein shortages, energy shortages as well as mineral deficiencies.
What to supplement your livestock with:
Apart from the sheer bulk of food that animals need to consume every day, there is also a nutritional aspect that the grazing needs to comply with. It is easy for ruminants to develop digestive imbalances and for this reason we suggest Molatek’s drought supplement.
The drought supplement is specifically designed to provide a balanced supplement. It is important to note that the amount of roughage available and the quality thereof will influence the level of supplementation. A technical advisor in your area will be able to assist you with this. Click here to find your nearest technical adviser.
The advantages of feeding Molatek Drought Supplement:
- It is highly palatable and stimulates dry matter intake
- The drought supplement ensures that the energy and protein needs of an animal are met during times of drought
- Ruminal fermentation by rumen microbes is improved and the animal is able to optimise the urea as a source of protein
- Drought supplement prevents the development of dry gall sickness
It should be noted that this supplementation shows an increase in results as the quality of the veld gets improves.
When to start feeding:
It is best to start supplementing the diet of grazing animals before they lose too much body condition, or lose proper function of the gut. It is a good practice to adapt the animals slowly to a new diet, especially one that contains urea, as the rumen microbes will also have to adapt.
Which animals to feed
A hierarchy is established during drought periods and this needs to be upheld to ensure minimum loss. Prioritise animals that are the most productive and will suffer the most from being underfed.
Here is a guideline to determine which animals should get preference:
- Lactating and pregnant females
- Replacement animals (young ewes and heifers) that are expensive to replace
- Mature and dry animals
- Young steers
- Old and infertile animals should be sold as early as possible
When to stop supplementation:
It is important to remember that it takes time for the veld to be restored to its optimal condition and young, green veld that grows after rain is low in energy. For this reason we recommend a continued supplementation following the rains. Please contact your technical advisor for more information. Click here to find your nearest technical advisor.