Focusing on your health doesn’t happen just once a year, and it shouldn’t happen sporadically for your flock either. To maintain a healthy flock, make sure you keep your ewes, rams and lambs on a quality vitamin and mineral program, 365 days a year.
“It’s important to focus on health and performance from the inside, out,” said Sam Silvers, West Texas sheep producer who also serves as an Area Sales Mineral for BioZyme® Inc.
To reach the maximum potential of your sheep operation while helping to get the ewes bred and keep them bred, Silvers recommends DuraFerm®. DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid® is an organic vitamin and mineral supplement specifically designed to target cycling, embryo production and conception when fed 30 days prior to lambing through breeding.
DuraFerm products contain organic zinc and manganese, selenium yeast and high levels of vitamins A, D and E to support maximum reproduction and health. In addition, all products also contain Amaferm®, a precision-based prebiotic created to enhance digestibility by amplifying the nutrient supply for maximum performance. It 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. Amaferm increases intake, digestibility and absorption of available feedstuffs.
“Amaferm is key to keeping your sheep healthy and maintaining the integrity of the gut. We know that 70% of the ruminant’s immunity function starts in the digestive tract, so a healthy gut leads to a healthy animal,” Silvers said.
Based on the three products currently in the DuraFerm line, producers should consider a combination of two products based on their climate. Two loose minerals exist: DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid and the new DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid HEAT mineral. The primary difference is the HEAT package added to the newest product in the line-up. Both will serve as a complete vitamin and mineral supplement with the Amaferm advantage; however, the HEAT mineral is designed to feed anytime the temperatures reach 70 degrees or hotter. With a combination of plant extracts including capsaicin, cloves and garlic, HEAT is research-proven to regulate the core body temperature. The garlic is a natural insect deterrent, something sheep producers should be aware of.
“The garlic and other plant extracts help keep the bugs away. That is something sheep producers should be excited about especially with mosquitos and Cache Valley Virus causing abortions. You should see more ewes carry to term with fewer insect problems,” Silvers said.
According to Silvers, one of these two minerals should be fed year-round. He said in his geographic region, he’d recommend keeping the flock on the DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid HEAT all year. Cooler climates might choose to alternate between the two.
The other supplement producers will want to consider is a DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid Protein Tubs. This cooked tub contains all the benefits of the loose mineral and contains 16% protein, for an added boost during the critical times of year like breeding and lambing. Silvers recommends adding the tubs to the flock’s nutrition program prior to breeding and again at lambing for some added protein to optimize health during critical phases of reproduction. The tubs offer an added benefit during lambing season.
“The ewes will benefit from that added protein at lambing, but also the lambs will start licking those tubs and getting Amaferm in their diet. That will help them get on creep feed faster and help them grow more efficiently,” Silvers said.
Post-weaning, the loose mineral should be adequate again until breeding, unless you run a lot of sheep in big country where the tubs simply offer added convenience.
You wouldn’t take your vitamins just once a week or once a month. Make sure your flock gets their required nutrients year-round as well. Give your sheep the nutrition they need to stay healthy, breed and perform, 365 days a year with DuraFerm.