“I’m a big believer in Amaferm® and the advantages it gives your cattle in gut health, digestibility of forages, feed conversion and overall consumption.”
Andrew Matheny understands and values the importance of a high-quality mineral program. His registered Hereford herd benefits from the Amaferm advantage through all phases of production, from conception to birth, weaning to marketing. Amaferm, a precision-based prebiotic that is research-proven to increase intake, digestibility and absorption, is the key ingredient in all supplements produced by BioZyme® Inc.
Matheny, whose children are the fifth generations to raise Hereford cattle near Mays Lick, Ky., is a progressive cattle producer who, along with wife Suzanne, operates a purebred and commercial Hereford operation. They market their Hereford cattle in two sales annually. Females are sold in conjunction with a group of other progressive breeders on Labor Day weekend in the Breeder’s Cup Sale. Their bulls are marketed in March in the Boyd Beef Cattle sale. In addition to raising their own cattle, the Matheny family also calves embryo calves for other breeders. And son Austin, a recent Kansas State University graduate, returned home to oversee the commercial cow herd.
Matheny Herefords strives to produce Hereford cattle that fit the demands of its customers, both purebred and commercial operations. With a focus on both phenotypic and genomic predictors, the Mathenys have achieved their goals of meeting their customer needs. In the end, the operation wants to produce cattle that will remain profitable for its customers while continuing to produce superior offspring.
Incorporating a mineral program like VitaFerm® and supplements like Sure Champ® have helped them produce cattle that are efficient, healthy and achieve maximum profitability for their customers. Mathenys have used the VitaFerm and Sure Champ products for several years, and they use the mineral program year-round. They feed their cows VitaFerm Concept•Aid® prior to calving and breeding to achieve maximum reproductivity. In the summer months, when cows are out on tall fescue, they are supplemented with VitaFerm HEAT® mineral. And, in the fall, Andrew provides the VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral, to ensure his cows are still getting the nutrients they need along with the Amaferm.
“We’ve been feeding the HEAT mineral the past three years, and we’ve seen a better response in the summer. We fight fescue here; it is one of our predominant feed sources in the summer time. But since we started with HEAT, our cows are out grazing longer during the day and spend less time in the shade. We’re retaining more pregnancies now and have fewer opens at our preg check in the fall. We’ve never had an issue with cattle consuming any of the products,” Andrew said.
One of the products that the Mathenys appreciate the most is the Sure Champ Ration Builder. They have started formulating their creep feed by using local commodities and the Ration Builder to ensure their calves are getting the nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy while having a fully-fortified diet. Andrew said he likes to incorporate the Ration Builder in his creep feed for his sale calves about a month before the sale to get his bulls into sale shape.
“It’s been a good product for us. The cattle seem to do well. Consumption is really good; performance has been excellent on that product. And it allows us to use feed ingredients from here locally that we can build that ration around,” Andrew said. “We like to make sure that our bulls are eating and look their best come sale day.
The one product that Andrew gives a lot of credit to is VitaFerm Concept•Aid for assisting with his reproductive performance. Concept•Aid helps increase his conception rates in his herd, providing him an increased number of healthy calves to market each year.
The top-end of purebred bulls and females will be sold in production sales, and the embryo calves will be returned to their owners. The remainder of their calves will sell in the Kentucky Hereford-Influenced Feeder Calf sales. One thing that Matheny’s customers can count on is they are buying cattle that have had a jump-start on health and nutrition from day one thanks to the Amaferm advantage in their diets.