Club Lamb Producer Finds Success in Mineral Program
(SAINT JOSEPH, Mo., Feb. 4, 2020) Finding solutions to challenges in animal agriculture helps producers improve efficiencies, increase number of live healthy animals born and subsequently boosts the producers’ bottom line. Once those solutions have proven to be tried and true, it doesn’t take long for the producer to find other ways to improve their operations with similar management practices and products.
This rings true for Zach Mullikin, owner and manager of Mullikin Club Lambs, Maysville, Kentucky. Zach owns 250 crossbred market lamb mommas and another 250 commercial white-faced ewes that he uses for recipients. He has marketed his lambs into more than a dozen states to successful exhibitors who have garnered numerous champion honors.
However, several years ago, Zach noticed that his club lamb ewes were not cycling like they should. Also, he was experiencing higher than acceptable embryo loss in the ewes he did get bred. Reproductive challenges like that meant fewer lambs and fewer options to market to his growing customer base. Knowing that overall health and reproductive health work in synch, Zach started using the DuraFerm® Sheep Concept•Aid® on his cycling and gestating ewes. That was the solution he’d been looking for. He’s been using various forms of DuraFerm with the Amaferm advantage for the past 3-4 years.
“We AI’ed 90 ewes on August 4 and had a 72% conception rate. Before we started using the DuraFerm mineral, our rate was closer to 55-60% every breeding. I have experienced a decrease in the number of ewes that don’t breed. My bucks are more fertile. I truly believe it’s made a big difference for our operation,” Zach said.
In addition to increased fertility – getting an average of eight successful transfers per flush – he also sees positive results in his ewes and their offspring at lambing time. Lambs show increased vigor, get up quicker and are stronger at birth. He also said the ewes have better quantity and color of colostrum at lambing time.
DuraFerm® Sheep Concept•Aid® is a free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for sheep specifically designed to target cycling, embryo production and conception when fed 30 days prior to lambing through breeding. The supplement contains organic zinc and manganese, selenium yeast and high levels of Vitamin E to support maximum reproduction and health.
DuraFerm Concept•Aid Protein Tub is a breeding mineral with 16% natural protein in a cooked tub for sheep specifically designed to target cycling, embryo production and conception when fed 30 days prior to lambing through breeding. The tubs provide the balanced levels of high-quality vitamin and minerals required for growth, breeding and lambing.
All DuraFerm products contain Amaferm®, a precision prebiotic designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying 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.
Zach starts feeding the DuraFerm free-choice mineral year-round, until about 60 days prior to lambing. Then, he puts his ewes into lambing groups of about 20 head each and puts them on DuraFerm Protein Tubs through lambing and until the lambs are about 30 days old. Then, they are back on the loose mineral.
With the success, that Zach has experienced with his ewes, he knew the Amaferm advantage would benefit his entire flock. He adds Amaferm to a pelleted feed that he mixes into their ration. He also starts all of his lambs on the DuraFerm Sheep Concept•Aid Protein Tub and said the 125-pound tub will last a group of lambs for 30-35 days, while giving them the jumpstart they need to grow.
“The tubs are a convenient way to provide a smaller group of lambs or ewes the nutrition they need. Bring in the tubs, and the sheep go to them right away,” he said.
Solutions to production challenges don’t happen every day. However, when they do, successful producers like Zach Mullikin remain successful because they embrace them and use them to their greatest benefit. More ewes bred means more lambs, and more lambs mean more options for his successful exhibitors. Let the Amaferm advantage work for you. To learn more, visit www.duraferm.com.