A survey of lick supplementation and management practices of commercial beef farmers in the Zastron District
Foster, L. A.; Fourie, P. J.; Neser, F. W. C.
South African Journal of Agricultural Extension 44(2): 158-166
ISSN/ISBN: 2413-3221 Accession: 070528847
A study was conducted to determine the supplementation and management practices of commercial beef farmers. 48 commercial farmers from the Zastron district were selected for this study out of a prospective of 60 farmers that were bona fide commercial farmers and members of Free State Agriculture. The farmers reported the following calving percentage ranges: one farmer (2.1%) between 50 and 59%, three farmers (6.3%) between 60 and 69%, 19 farmers between 70 and 79%, 22 farmers between 80 and 89% and three farmers between 90 and 99%. Preventative vaccination was common practice as only one farmer did not vaccinate any of his cattle (n = 48). The provision of supplements seemed to be general practice (100%, n = 48) in the district as all the farmers gave some form of supplementation to their cattle. Only 22.9% (n = 11) of the farmers provided supplements according to the production status of the animals and the main reason for not doing so is that 37.8% (n = 14) of the respondents believed that it complicated management and 18.9% (n = 7) thought it not necessary. It is believed that a lack of understanding of the function of supplements by some of the farmers in the district could be the cause of what could be considered as insufficient supplementation by animal nutritionists.