Why you should use stock blocks this summer.
Why even use them?
You don’t need to be reminded that the last couple of years have not been kind to us with rainfall. And you know that poor harvests mean poor stubbles. So it should follow that because stubbles are our primary summer feed source, it’s vital to feed additional supplements to meet your stock’s health needs, especially in these drier years. We can do this by using stock blocks. As the past few years have proven, there is excellent financial value in healthy livestock.
- It’s important to try to get stubbles to last as long as possible to ensure there is enough feed to continue through to autumn and avoid the winter feed gap. Periodically allow them to graze, and rotate paddocks and supplementary feed if needed.
- Place blocks away from watering points to encourage stock to graze out.
- Place out sufficient blocks to avoid overcrowding of stock.
- Replace blocks after they’re consumed.
- Use the Olsson’s Indicator System – i.e. putting a range of blocks out and letting the stock decide what they need: www.olssons.com.au/free-choice-system
- You will find that supplement needs can vary from animal to animal, paddock to paddock, and season to season.
Some of the dry feed blocks contain urea, which can be toxic to livestock if misused. We have also seen issues with blocks containing urea getting wet with rainfall. Follow directions on the packaging, and use the Olsson’s Indicator System.
So what blocks should I use?
Across both stores we have a variety of blocks on hand that can help supplement stock over summer. The leading sellers include Peak 50 (with urea), Bentobite, Calcium Molasses, Stubble Muncher, Rods Dry Feed Urea, and Rods Ewe and Lamb. Other blocks are also available; such as Lactovite, Molybite, Sulfos, Trace Elements and more. We also have dry lick powders to supplement nutritional deficiencies or at times where there is high nutrient demand, i.e. lambing. Below are the top 4 we recommend.
A molasses-based supplement to improve dry pasture conversion.
Olsson’s Stubble Muncher is designed for dry season grazing to provide stock with maximum protein conversion when utilising stubble and dry pasture. With a balance of urea, bypass protein, calcium and phosphorus, this block enables stock to convert all available dry matter into usable protein. The combination of essential elements will stimulate the rumen to produce bacteria that will promote animal growth.
When to use: As the name suggests, Stubble Munchers are best used over summer when grazing lambs on stubble.
Peak 50 + Urea:
A premium protein supplement for pregnant, lactating or weaning livestock, and dry pastures.
Olsson’s Peak 50 Plus 7% Urea is a multipurpose supplement that contains urea, bypass protein and minerals. It is ideal for dry pastures, lactating animals, and any application where additional protein is required by livestock. By containing bypass protein, this block can provide protein and energy to enhance performance. It’s ideal for conditions such as pre-lambing or calving, or where the pasture has lost protein levels.
When to use: Peak 50 blocks are good for pre-lambing and lactating ewes, dry pasture conditions, and are a great all-rounder that can be used when needing extra protein.
Peak 50 and Stubble Munchers are best used in conjunction with each other, such as in a program like the Olssons Indicator System, as stock will tell you what they need by what one they predominately consume.
Rods Dry Feed Urea:
A supplement to help improve pasture conversion for livestock.
Over summer the Dry Feed Urea blocks are an excellent mineral supplement for sheep on dry stubbles, as they maximise utilisation of poor quality feed. They also contain a balanced combination of urea and natural proteins which stimulates the microflora in the rumen, which helps to increase appetite and feed conversion efficiency. They also provide a balance of essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements necessary for healthy growth.
When to use: Rod’s dry feed blocks are a great economical alternative for Olsson’s Stubble Munchers.
A protein supplement with bentonite.
Olsson’s Bentobite helps absorb toxins, boosts production, and controls green season scouring. Bentobite blocks contain bentonite and protein meal, which helps bind some toxins in the gut, balances rumen function and provides bypass protein. Research at the University of New England showed that the addition of a minimal amount of bentonite clay mineral and high-quality bypass protein into the diet of sheep and cattle was highly beneficial in improving productivity.
When to use: Use when pastures are very young and green to control scouring, during weaning, or when pasture has lost condition. Or, when grain feeding to relieve incidences of acidosis and grain sickness.
Also in stock at both stores are Rod’s Ewe and Lamb blocks, which provide nutrients that pregnant and lactating ewes require. Rod’s have a range of other blocks similar to Olssons. And can also make blocks specifically to suit your stocks’ nutritional requirements; but the minimum order is one Tonne, i.e. 60 blocks.