Matt from Virbac explains why supplementing through winter can set up your stock for success in the spring.
Ensuring that breeding cows and ewes are well supplemented through winter and leading up to calving/lambing, will maximise the transfer of trace elements through the placenta and milk. Sheep mainly require selenium and vitamin B12, while in cattle the priorities are copper and selenium. In ewes SMARTSHOT B12 Plus SE is an option to provide both B12 and selenium throughout pregnancy, and there is published research showing the lambs have higher levels of both trace elements at tailing, giving them a head start in life. Selenised pre-lamb vaccines may also be an option, although the effect is much shorter.
Now is also the time to be looking at copper bullets and long-acting selenium injections for beefies. Again, these can set the calves up for a better start, especially since milk is the main source of trace elements in early life. In recent years, many dairy farmers have been injecting calves with MULTIMIN in the first 24 hours, based on research showing it halves death and disease by supporting the immune system. For those beef farmers who are handling calves early in life, this might be an option, for others, an injection at marking will still have benefits.
Planning in advance will ensure the herd/flock is as healthy as possible and set up for the next generation.
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