Quality Nutrition Matters for Sheep

Maintaining the proper nutrients in your livestock program can be quite a balancing act. You want to make sure your sheep receive adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats into their diets for their current phase of production. Although several options exist, one vitamin and mineral pack provides balanced nutrients that keep your flock healthy all year while helping ewes get bred, stay bred and deliver strong, healthy lambs. 

DuraFerm® Sheep Concept•Aid® is a vitamin and mineral supplement for sheep specifically designed to target cycling, embryo production and conception; it is especially beneficial in A.I. and E.T. breeding programs. It provides the balanced levels of high-quality vitamin and minerals required for growth, breeding and lambing. The supplement contains organic zinc and manganese, selenium yeast and high levels of vitamin E to support maximum reproduction and health. And, perhaps most importantly, it contains Amaferm®, a precision-based prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying nutrient supply for maximum performance. Amaferm is research-proven to increase the energy available to the animal resulting in more milk production as well as the ability to initiate and maintain pregnancy and fertility. 

Nick Warntjes, owner of Warntjes Livestock at Oakdale, California, has been supplementing his ewes with the DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid for five years. He feeds the supplement year-round to make sure his ewes don’t ever miss a beat. He is confident they are getting the nutrients they need to help them be healthy, productive mamas.  

You can rely on the nutrition behind the vitamins and minerals you are going to get out of the Concept•Aid Sheep mineral from the standpoint of BioZyme® having nutritionists formulate the mineral. We feed Concept•Aid year-round to make sure they have optimum levels of vitamins and minerals in their diets. Optimum levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrition in their system year-round means not only are they going to conceive easier and maintain their pregnancies better, but they should have healthier pregnancies and milk better. And then they should start to get ready to breed back as fast as possible as well,” Warntjes said. 

As a long-time sheep producer and sales rep for Associated Feed & Supply, Warntjes knows that all too often sheep producers face challenges with their reproductive success. He said two of the biggest obstacles he hears about are retained placentas and lambing difficulty, which both tie back to a lack of proper nutrition.  

“Some of that is related to calcium intake, so proper vitamins and mineral to help with things like reducing numbers of retained placentas and reducing problems with dilation is why we find that is always extremely important to have enough levels of Vitamins A, E and D for reproductive help. Producers can find all of those essential vitamins in the Sheep Concept•Aid,” he said. 

Although the name Concept•Aid suggests the mineral is just for helping with conception, Warntjes likens the mineral to a prenatal vitamin that a doctor might suggest to a pregnant woman. He said the Concept•Aid not only helps with the ability to conceive, but it also helps maintain a pregnancy and promote healthy fetal development.  

On his own operation, consisting of 100 mature ewes, Warntjes said every ewe will be A.I. bred at least once a year, with lambing groups planned for October, November and January to meet their customer demand. Prior to breeding, he will add another supplement, the DuraFerm® Sheep Concept•Aid® Protein Tub, which gives the ewes the option for added vitamins, minerals and Amaferm, along with an extra 16% natural protein to help them target cycling. 

“We add the tubs in A.I. groups for 60 days, and we never let them run out. In my opinion, giving them access to those Concept•Aid Protein Tubs gives them everything they need and gives them a boost in protein, which serves as a flushing agent on those ewes. It helps them ovulate more eggs and helps them actually settle from those A.I.’s,” Warntjes said. 

He encourages his sheep customers to read the mineral tags closely and pick the supplement that contains a higher mix of high-quality nutrients, like the DuraFerm Concept•Aid, that is more than just salt. And he always reminds producers to provide a plentiful supply of fresh, clean water.   

Getting the proper mix of vitamins and minerals to your flock doesn’t have to be a balancing act. DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid and the DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid Protein Tubs make sure your ewes will have the optimum nutrients and the Amaferm advantage they need to perform at their highest. 

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