Are your lambs finishing quickly enough?
To keep lambs developing to their maximum potential during the peak grass growing months and beyond, UK sheep producers are being urged to supplement finishing stock effectively with essential trace minerals.
“Rapid growth in May and June can leave grazed grass up to 50% deficient in copper, selenium, iodine and cobalt,” says Dr Elizabeth Berry, Veterinary Director with Animax.
“These four trace elements impact energy, production, growth, reproduction and the nervous system,” Dr Berry says. “However, soil derived minerals can vary and become diluted especially during peak grass growth periods, to a point of negatively impacting on feed conversion, which will extend finishing times.”
Dr Berry says that it is important for sheep producers to keep lambs growing fast when grass is plentiful early in the grazing season. “Ideally, you want your lambs to finish as quickly as possible, but if their growth rates are sluggish and poor because of a mineral deficiency they will hang around and potentially start eating into grass reserves earmarked for flushing/breeding and over-wintering ewes.”
To mitigate this delayed/slow lamb finishing risk, Dr Berry says that taking advantage of leaching bolus technology is an effective and simple way to maintain optimum trace mineral requirements for grazing livestock.
“For example, once inside the rumen or reticulum, Tracesure© Lamb Finisher, a proven leaching bolus for lambs at grass will provide supplementation of selenium, iodine and cobalt. Specifically designed for finishing lambs, the bolus leaches trace elements at a constant and prolonged rate for up to five months,” she says. “If copper is required, Tracesure© Lamb Finisher with Copper is available, which includes a 2-gram copper oxide needle capsule
“Not only does leaching bolus technology optimise trace element supplementation for finishing lambs, but it is also a hassle-free way of eliminating uncertainty; leaving farmers time to focus on other aspects of management while their flock maximises performance and growth rates.”