Veld Supplements

Voermol Feeds manufactures a wide range of molasses-based supplements which meet the nutritional requirements of ruminants on any type of grazing.

Maintenance Licks (PROTEIN LICKS)

The limiting nutrient that is supplied by a maintenance lick is protein, derived mainly from urea. During manufacture the urea is first dissolved in molasses syrup and then mixed into the final product.

This process has the following advantages:

  • urea is evenly distributed in the final product;
  • rain is therefore not a problem as the molasses and urea dissolve together which reduces the danger of urea poisoning;
  • the low pH of Voermol products ensures that the urea in the rumen has a slower breakdown to ammonia, thus the slower absorption of ammonia lowers the possibility of urea poisoning;
  • the energy of molasses is immediately available for the microbes in the rumen. This ensures the efficient utilisation of urea thus lowering the risk of urea poisoning;
  • prevents dry gall sickness in animals on grazing, because the high content of molasses is rich in potassium which is mildly laxative;
  • molasses is palatable and ensures that licks are not dusty which fosters the prescribed lick intake. Voermol maintenance licks provide the important trace minerals which are lacking in grazing. These trace minerals are necessary for optimum appetite and fertility. Voermol maintenance licks are not dusty and therefore wind loss is kept to a minimum.

Mineral Licks

The phosphorus and trace minerals that are deficient in pastures are supplemented by administering a mineral lick. As green pastures are deficient in minerals, mineral licks must be fed, especially when animals are gaining weight.

Transitional Licks

The provision of a transitional lick during the transition from green to dry grazing will promote the production and reproduction of cows because it prevents the loss of body mass and condition.

Production and Energy Licks

Production and energy licks are used to supplement energy as well as protein, minerals and trace minerals. Production and energy licks are normally given as a lick supplement to producing animals (i.e. cow with calf, ewe with lamb or growing animals).

Choice of Licks

When choosing a lick, keep the following factors in mind:

  • quality and quantity of grazing;
  • type of grazing (sweet, sour, shrub veld or crop residues);
  • animal type (cattle, sheep, goat or ruminant game);
  •  production status of the animal (growing, lactating, dry);
  • season.

In this way the limiting nutrient or nutrients are identified and meaningfully supplemented by a lick.

NB. Licks only serve to supplement the limiting nutrient or nutrients in pastures and not as an actual feed. Licks are only recommended when there is sufficient grazing or other roughage available.

Lick Intakes

The minimum and maximum lick intake is prescribed for each product (the recommended lick intake). If lick intake deviates from the prescription, change to another lick. Normally changing from a maintenance lick to a production lick necessitates a higher intake. With a low lick intake (less than 50 g/sheep/day and 240 g/cow/day), allow a maximum of 50 sheep or 25 cattle per lick trough or lick block, or at least 25 mm lick trough space per sheep and 50 mm per cow. With a medium lick intake (more than 100 g/sheep/day and 400 g/cow/day), allow a maximum of 25 sheep or 15 cattle per lick trough or lick block, or at least 50 mm lick trough space per sheep and 100 mm per cow.

With a high lick intake (more than 250 g/sheep/day and 1 000 g/cow/ day), allow a maximum of 15 sheep or 10 cattle per lick trough or lick block, or at least 75 mm lick trough space per sheep and 150 mm per cow.

These are general guidelines to ensure that animals consume the recommended quantity for optimum results. Lick trough space must be adjusted depending on conditions (i.e. camp size, number of water points, etc.).

Lick Programme

Licks form a large part of the input costs of stock farming. If licks are used discriminately they are very cost effective. Therefore, follow a well-planned lick programme. In consultation with the veterinarian, follow a dosing and vaccination programme, inclusive of Clostridium spp. especially for sheep and goats.

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