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Trace Elements

Trace Elements are critical for immunity, and are used in large quantities when the body is under stress and the immune system is working harder. As Trace Elements are depleted, the immune system become less effective, and disease more likely.

Selenium

Selenium is an anti-oxidant which is necessary for growth and fertility in animals.

Deficiency causes significant productivity losses, and can lead to White Muscle Disease (WMD), infertility, decreased milk production, and ill thrift.

Deficiency is a reasonably widespread problem in New Zealand,  but excess supplementation can cause toxicity.

 

Due to this, please contact us for advice on supplementation. 

Copper

Copper is an essential trace element required for a large number of processes within the body.

The lamb is the most sensitive to Copper deficiency. Clinical signs include nerve disorder (termed swayback or enzootic ataxia), with lambs born unable to stand or uncoordinated within a few weeks of birth, and bone fragility (osteoporosis) often seen as an increase in bone fractures after handling events. There can also be an impaired reproductive performance in the flock;  increased foetal loss, decreased lamb survival in ewes and decreased semen quality in rams.

Sheep are very susceptible to copper toxicity, so should not be supplemented unless copper deficiency has been proven.

Cobalt/B12

Lambs are the most sensitive to cobalt deficiency and when rapidly growing have the highest demands for it, but pregnant and  lactating ewes may also be affected.  Cobalt is used by microorganisms in the rumen to produce Vitamin B12.  It is essential for normal ruminant metabolism, and in particular Glucose production.  

 

Clinical signs of cobalt deficiency include poor growth, loss of appetite,  poor wool production, increased lamb death rates at lambing time and anaemia in severe cases.

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