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The effect of an oral drench trace-element supplementation programme on lamb production in a commercial sheep flock in England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 November 2017

E. Padfield*
Affiliation:
Royal Agricultural College Cirencester, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
J. Alliston
Affiliation:
Royal Agricultural College Cirencester, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
GM Jones
Affiliation:
University of Gloucestershire, CCRU, Cheltenham, United Kingdom
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Extract

In the UK lamb mortality is a major factor limiting profitability of sheep operations ranging from 15-22% from birth to weaning with the majority occurring in the first 24h of life (Teagasc 1991). Lamb survival to some extent is affected by micronutrient status of the ewe pre-lambing, which can be manipulated by dietary supplementation with subsequent effects on vitality and resistance to infections in the lamb (Rook et al. 2004) inadequate dietary supply of micronutrients to the lamb at later growth stages, will affect resistance to nematode and bacterial infections (Suttle and Jones 1989) and hence efficiency of growth to slaughter weight – the second major factor for profitability. The practicalities of management, labour time and concerns of cost-effectiveness, often result in no micronutrient supplementation of the sheep or the use of a drench at critical times in the sheep production cycle as a quick-fix to potential micronutrient deficiencies in sheep. This study was carried out to evaluate a micronutrient drench supplementation programme as a means of improving productivity and profitability of lamb production under commercial conditions.

Type
Poster Presentations
Copyright
Copyright © The British Society of Animal Science 2007

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References

Rook, J.A., Robinson, J.J. and Arthur, J.R. (2004) Effects of vitamin E and selenium on the performance and immune status of ewes and lambs, Journal of Agricultural Science, 142: 253–262 Google Scholar
Suttle, N.F. and Jones, D.G. (1989) Recent developments in trace-element metabolism and function: trace elements, disease resistance and immune responsiveness in ruminants. Journal of Nutrition 119: 1055–1061 Google ScholarPubMed
Teagasc (1991) “Cutting Losses at Lambing” bookletGoogle Scholar

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