Northern Ireland Avoid Trace Element Gap in ewes to stay one step ahead

After lambing, ewes can be at risk of a performance limiting Trace Element Gap due to withdrawal of mineralised concentrate feeds. This coincides with the need for an abundant supply of milk to lambs. The purple line shows the impact on trace element supply.

To support consistently high growth in lambs, and vigorous health in ewes, give them a Tracesure bolus four to six weeks pre-lambing. This provides cobalt, iodine and selenium, available with copper if required. The impact is illustrated by the red line.

A critical benefit of this timing, just when ewe appetites decline markedly, is ensuring sufficient trace element supply for foetal development, colostrum production and immune function.

Without supplementation, ewes are at risk of the Trace Element Gap due to pasture deficiencies. As a bonus, up to six months of trace element supply from a Tracesure bolus continues beyond weaning and support ewes in recovering body condition ready for breeding in the autumn.

Giving a bolus is easy and low labour requirement, with high reliability, giving confidence it will provide the essential trace elements needed.

Vet Dr Elizabeth Berry from Animax stresses that making best use of spring grass is essential to minimise production costs. “However, the unpredictable weather does mean that ewe and lamb performance depend on grass quantity and quality. Pre-lambing preparation including a bolus for spring grazing conditions makes sense, with pregnant ewes primed to maximise grazing as soon as it’s available.”

The leaching bolus technology used in Tracesure supplements, developed by and unique to Animax, is designed for consistent, slow release of trace elements at a regulated rate. The company’s livestock specialists are available to farmers for free advice.

Farmers can get more information from Animax livestock specialists here.