Every living being has a purpose. For the cows that graze Alder’s Ranch, at Midway, Texas, halfway between Dallas and Houston, their purpose is to convert grass to milk and pounds of beef. The diverse cow-calf operation is home to 1,800 mama cows – Angus and Angus Plus – that run on land that ranges from river bottom to sand country. They background calves at their home place, market replacement females and feeder steers, all while raising crops to feed the cattle. According to Ranch Manager JD Georg they produce most of their own seedstock and seldom do they buy cattle to bring into the herd.
In an environment that receives more than 40 inches of rain per year, their stocking rates are high per acre. Grass grows fast and is washy; therefore, the cows have to eat more of it to convert it into milk to raise a calf.
“We believe in making that cow take that poor quality forage and turn it into beef, into milk while raising those calves. Our grass is not that good, but we have a lot of it,” Georg said with a smile. “That is where the Amaferm® in the VitaFerm® comes into play. I truly believe the Amaferm helps those cows with that process.”
Amaferm is a precision-based prebiotic that is the key ingredient in all VitaFerm supplements and is designed to impact intake, feed digestibility and nutrient absorption for optimum health and 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. Georg said he feeds a combination of two VitaFerm minerals to his herd throughout the year, the VitaFerm Concept•Aid® 5/S and VitaFerm Cattleman’s Blend™. Both contain Amaferm and organic copper for maximum bioavailability to the animal to support immunity.
The VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S contains 5% phosphorus, the ideal level of phosphorus for use with average to good quality forages, to promote milk production and higher calf weaning weights. In addition, it provides organic copper, zinc and manganese to ensure maximum bioavailability of nutrients to the animal and high levels of vitamin E and selenium to promote optimized fertility.
Although the Concept•Aid 5/S is most generally recognized as a breeding mineral, and he does feed it 45 days pre-breeding through 30 days post-breeding, he primarily appreciates the overall quality components of the mineral.
“It’s not only a breed-back mineral for us, for which it does a tremendous job. We have conception rates anywhere from 90-95% with the Concept•Aid. Overall, the quality is better than any other mineral. That’s one thing I would hang my hat on as far as VitaFerm is concerned, the ingredients they use for VitaFerm are better and more easily absorbed than any other. You can compare tags, but you don’t get the same outcome. The hair coat is a testimony by itself,” he said.
Georg explained that in his area that is copper deficient and with the sulfur in the water that ties up the copper, his black cattle often appear with a brown or red tint, especially at the point of their shoulders. Since he started feeding the VitaFerm minerals nearly seven years ago, his black cattle are all black, something he couldn’t accomplish with other minerals.
Yes, every animal does have a purpose. Particularly in a diversified setting like a ranch that grows its own feed, including corn silage and hay, has an intense breeding program that includes embryo transfer, A.I. and natural service, calves in both the spring and fall, backgrounds calves and markets steers. Georg said he is blessed to have a ranch owner who lets him have a say in the decisions, especially when one of those decisions has been to feed VitaFerm products.
“We try to make the cow work for us and not work for the cow.” Follow the lead of progressive cattle producers like the Alder’s Ranch and put the VitaFerm program to work for you.