Supplementary feeding is a widespread practice in South African livestock farming. Dr Liesel Foster conducted a study on the effect of three lick supplementation levels on the production and profitability of an extensive beef herd run on mixed veld in the Zastron district for her PhD thesis.
The vegetation in the study area is typical of transitional Cymbopogon-Themeda veld and had a grazing capacity of 5ha/ LSU to 7ha/LSU. The study herd of 150 Drakensberger cows was divided into three treatment groups (T1, T2 and T3).
A three-phase supplementation programme was divided into three supplementation periods – summer, early winter and late winter. The last two included roughly the same nutrients, while the early winter supplementation period featured 20% less lick. The supplement was a commercial pre-mix, supplied ad lib and replenished twice a week, and never exceeding the maximum recommended daily intake.
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