Growing up, Chris Hess was surrounded by animals. His grandparents always kept different animals on their property, for which he credits his decision to go into farming too.
Based in Bredasdorp in the Western Cape, Hess learnt of an opportunity to lease municipal land about six years ago. He applied for the lease and has been farming with cattle ever since.
“They renew the contract every three years. And I have my parents help me keep an eye on the animals.”
By profession, Hess is a grain grader at a large agricultural corporation. He learnt about Voermol products from his co-workers who deal with animal feed.
“I would ask the guys who work in the feed store about what to feed my animals to make them fatter or to supplement their diets. They gave me advice on what the animals need.”
Hess says that, while he enjoys farming with cattle, right now he does not have any plans to commit to the operation full time. “Because I’m a permanent employee, I don’t want to make it bigger right now, but maybe in future. At this stage, I enjoy it as a hobby.”
Keeping animals in their best shape
For Hess, Voermol’s SB100 fattening product is the one he relies on the most. SB100 is an easy-to-feed concentrate for cattle that farmers can mix with maize or other grain.
Some of the advantages of using SB100 is that it can be fed to cattle with whole maize, ensuring that farmers save on additional costs.
It also contains medicaments, which reduces the amount of feed the animals ingest but still ensures that they gain substantial mass. It also reduces the risk of coccidiosis, or internal tract infections, in calves.
Another product that is a staple in Hess’s feeding regime, is the Super 18 energy supplement. The supplement is high in protein and minerals, and comes with a number of advantages, including improved palatability, which is needed to make sure that the animals maximise their feed intake.
It also reduces dustiness, leading to limited feed wastage, and can be fed separately or mixed together with other ingredients.
Perhaps most importantly, the energy and protein it provides aids production rates among the animals.
It is a very versatile product and can even be fed to ruminant game.
For Hess, the deciding factor to keep feeding Voermol products to his animals is the stark difference in their condition without it.
“I use the Voermol products throughout the whole year. I also buy hay as well. An animal also needs their vitamins and minerals to grow. And it keeps the animals in a good condition.”
Hess is especially impressed with the state of his younger animals. “I have gotten used to the products. You can see the difference with the products, especially in your younger animals. They are in very good condition, and it helps with their growth.”
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