ROSS Fuller, Rosehill, Inverell, says the inclusion of a controlled release nitrogen source as part of the feeding regime for his fine wool and crossbred lamb enterprise is paying big dividends.
The flock is fed a supplementary pellet supplied by Riverina Stockfeeds in Warwick containing the controlled nitrogen source Alltech Optisync. Each sheep receives about 450g/day of pellets, which includes 10g of Optisync.
“Depending on the time of year we’re feeding a combination of unimproved pasture, oaten stubble and millet hay and giving all of the sheep the Riverina pellet,” Mr Fuller said.
“What we’re seeing with the inclusion of the Optisync in the pellets is a much more consistent conversion of fibre into digestible energy,” Mr Fuller said.
“That is particularly beneficial to lactating ewes, the growth of the lambs, and making sure the ewes are carrying the right amount of condition to get back into lamb.
“Despite the seasonal fluctuations in the base feed source, it’s the consistent lift in productivity and overall herd health that impress me most.”
Unlike straight urea, Optisync works by releasing nitrogen which breaks down into ammonia in the rumen over an 11-12 hour period. That ammonia feeds the microbes, which breakdown otherwise hard to digest fibre. Ammonia is typically consumed by the bugs in the rumen in about an hour. Optisync is made from nitrogen chips wrapped in a fat matrix that is suspended and dissolves in the rumen over the extended period, providing an ongoing source of bug-feeding ammonia.
Mr Fuller said he preferred to maintain a Merino ewe flock because of his strong interest in wool production as well as sheepmeat.
“Part of the reason we’ve stuck with Merinos because we needed to make a decision about upgrading the shearing shed, which was starting to need a lot of work,” Mr Fuller said.
“It’s certainly very encouraging seeing the returns that are currently coming in from both sheep and wool.”
Poll Dorset rams are joined to the fine wool Merino ewes in October/November. The lambs are sold through the Inverell Saleyards in early autumn.
Ross Fuller is well known for his ongoing contribution to rugby union and is currently Inverell’s A grade coach. As a 17 year old he was playing hooker alongside his 50 year old father Andrew for the Inverell Highlanders reserve grade side. The focus is now on the North West Galahs’ old boys day on July 29. A golden oldies game will be held before the A grade match between Inverell and Quirindi.