Challenges are everywhere. Try raising livestock in mass on the plains of West Texas. Predators are looking for their next meaty meal. Annual rain fall is sparce. For sixth generation rancher Ryan Bean, Ozona, Texas, he’s following his passion and working to provide a way of life for the seventh generation, his son and daughter, should they choose to continue with this way of life.
Bean raises 8,500 sheep and goats along with 300 head of cattle on his family operation, where it takes nearly 80 acres/animal unit. An animal unit is one cow-calf pair or about six ewes.
“It takes a lot of country to raise a few head,” Bean said.
With the big country, limited feed resources due to inadequate rainfall and the threat of predators, raising a marketable end product isn’t easy. That’s why Bean chose to try a high-quality mineral program about 15 months ago. The difference he’s seen: ewes with higher conception that carry full term due to reduced pregnancy disease and an average of 10 more pounds per lamb at sale time.
DuraFerm® is the mineral program that Bean transitioned his entire flock and herd to. The DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid® Protein Tub is a breeding mineral with 16% natural protein in a cooked tub, specifically designed for breeding time. It’s key ingredient Amaferm® is research-proven to increase intake, digestion and absorption of available feedstuffs while having a positive impact on reproductive success.
In an area where feed is sparse, Bean appreciates the mineral that keeps his sheep and cattle eating and absorbing the few nutrients that are available to them. Selling his lambs at 4-6 months old, every pound makes a difference.
“I had a better lamb crop this year than I ever had. Conditions when we were breeding last fall were just right, but the mineral was a big factor in it,” Bean said. “My lamb crop this year compared to the last four years, and this has been one of the drier springs we’ve had, were in better condition and averaged about 10 more pounds per head.”
In addition to the DuraFerm Protein Tubs, BioZyme® Inc., makers of DuraFerm, also produce a custom DuraFerm mineral block for Bean. With big country and thousands of animals covering thousands of acres, the tubs and blocks are ideal for distribution. Bean appreciates that his livestock don’t overconsume, but eat what they are deficient in, meaning sometimes of year they do eat more of the mineral than others.
Bean said a majority of his hair sheep are sold overseas, while many of his other sheep are sold to Texas and Colorado feedlots. Regardless of where they go, 10 additional pounds at sale time adds up to more dollars in the bank, making his operation more sustainable for the next generation.
“If the coyotes and the markets don’t get us, I’ll be doing this for a long time,” Bean said. Strengthen your stock, increase pregnancy and add pounds with DuraFerm.