In an era when fads come and go and trends change with the seasons, Greg Beatty believes in keeping the basics of livestock nutrition at the core of his feeding program. Beatty Club Lambs, located in Indiana, Pennsylvania, flushes about 30 ewes in the late summer and fall, prioritizing a flush program to generate consistency and amplify the flock’s quality most efficiently. Given the investment he makes in flushing, keeping his flock healthy with the balanced nutrients they need is a top priority and the key reason he is a proponent of free-choice mineral.
“I’ve got about 250 ewes running around here right now, and every one of them will eat a different amount of mineral, because they all have different needs,” Beatty said.
Beatty also encourages his club lamb customers to offer free-choice mineral to their lambs since it’s vital to both breeding stock and show lamb nutrition to make sure all sheep are getting all the nutrients they need. If a lamb becomes deficient in minerals and nutrients it will start chewing on leg wool or picking at the wool on other lambs it is penned with, and once that happens, you can’t rewind the visual impact that wool loss or pluck marks create.
In an effort to make sure his ewes have all the nutrients they need from a free-choice mineral program, he has begun feeding DuraFerm® Sheep Concept•Aid® to all his ewes, including recips, donors and ewes that are naturally bred, and his initial reaction is that the Concept•Aid has something important his sheep are deficient in.
“The big thing I noticed when I switched to Concept•Aid is at first they eat a whole bunch, but then they even out on consumption after about a week on the product, which tells me there is something in there they need that they are not getting from other minerals,” Beatty said. “When we went back to a cheaper mineral and then put them back on Concept•Aid close to breeding season they ate it like crazy again for five days before they moderated themselves.”
He recently ultra-sounded the first group of ewes that he bred A.I., and put eggs into from his first flush of the Fall. He noted a marked improvement in conception rates this year compared to past years when he wasn’t using Concept•Aid on his ewes. Beatty continues to plan to feed Concept•Aid exclusively to his ewes so they won’t miss any nutrients.
The first BioZyme® product that Beatty tried was Vita Charge® Paste (transitioned to Vita Charge® Gel in July 2019) that he uses when his sheep are overcoming stressful situations. He administers the paste to ewes that have a challenging time lambing so they won’t go off feed and can raise their lambs successfully. For those that have already gone off feed, Beatty has had tremendous luck and response in stimulating their appetite again with the Vita Charge Paste. The ability it has to help one recover from stress quickly makes it a lambing season must-have for his program.
He also likes to use the Vita Charge Paste when transporting lambs on a long haul – across the country to Texas or Oklahoma.
Beatty is a believer in the BioZyme® products. He knows that good nutrition is important to his successful club lamb operation, and that good nutrition starts with a sound mineral program.