Bolus lambs at weaning for quicker finishing and increased profit

Finishing lambs need to receive the optimum levels of essential trace elements to maximise growth rates, health and vitality – which will determine finishing time and ultimately, profitability.

Dr Elizabeth Berry BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, company veterinary director of Animax, comments, “Trace element deficiencies in lambs after weaning are common and noticeably impact growth and performance.

“However, this is easily corrected with a simple addition to the nutrition plan. When handling lambs for other management purposes, such as weaning, or weighing, I strongly suggest adding a bolus application to ensure the essential trace elements of selenium, iodine and cobalt, along with copper if required, are delivered.

“Ensuring the correct balance of trace elements is available to lambs offers many advantages. It increases production efficiency by maximising the use of energy and protein from grazed crops. This in turn reduces costs and the need for extra concentrates.

“It is also a valuable tool to maintain post weaning performance. All this, will result in earlier finishing times, giving farmers the opportunity to catch the higher market prices if desired.”

Rob Stephens, from Brecon comments “We buy lean lambs and we don’t quite know their history when they come to us, so we use a specific lamb bolus product to give them a daily release of cobalt, selenium, iodine and copper. It does a good job and we now only use feed for some triplets and pet lambs now and that’s about it. We are making a massive saving on cake.”

Dr Berry adds, “2018 has, so far, proved to be a very challenging year, from a very wet and cold spring to a hot and dry summer, and farmers need to focus on maximising returns. Providing the right nutrition for energy, growth and health, will have a positive impact on performance, and importantly, profitability.

“Animax’s Tracesure Lamb Finisher bolus can be given to lambs from 20kg and gives optimal, consistent supplementation of the essential trace elements for their needs in a single, small bolus for up to 5 months. I strongly recommend the use of this bolus in a targeted nutrition plan for best practice.

“If you have any doubts, particularly over copper, then speak to your vet. Your nutritionist and SQP can also help with advice.’’

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.