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12 Aug

Are you prepared for tupping

Posted by admin

Preparing For Tupping

With tupping season approaching, now is a good time to consider the condition of ewes and rams.  A successful mating season depends on ewes entering at the right weight and body score condition (BSC), sufficient quality and quantity of food and a well-balanced supply of vitamins and minerals.  It is important to identify the requirements of each flock and to supplement with minerals land trace elements as accurately as possible.  If a specific deficiency or problem is known or suspected in the flock then it is worthwhile to investigate by analysing soil or pasture mineral composition and identify the lacking minerals.  It is much better to control the problem by using specific products or measures, instead of using a “shotgun” approach.

Most nutritional disorders are due to excess deficiencies or imbalances between individual nutrients and in particular minerals, trace elements and vitamins.  A few vitamins and minerals are of special interest during mating and throughout pregnancy because they play an important role in ovulation, embryo development and placental growth.

  • Selenium in combination with vitamin E are known to have a positive effect on fertility by improving ovulation rates. Supplementing rams 12 weeks pre-mating helps larger number of rams to conceive.
  • Research has shown that selenium is a critical component of tail sperm cells, supporting sperm mobility.
  • Unborn lambs rely on nutrient flow from the ewe during pregnancy: vitamin E deficiencies during pregnancy may lead lamb vigour at birth.
  • Cobalt is a component of vitamin B12, which is produced by mirco-organisms in the rumen. Vitamin B12 is essential in the energy metabolism of the ewe and deficiency can lead to reduced feed intake which can lead to poor performance of the ewes.

Specific micro mineral deficiencies can be individually catered for by liquid supplementation; for optimal performance mineral drenches can be used to provide the right minerals and vitamins at the right time.

Liquid supplementation of animals has the advantage that all animals receive known amounts of the required mineral at specific intervals.  Choosing a supplement that will provide all of the vital nutrients is essential to support peak performance and help ensure a profitable lambing.  Optimum nutrition of ewes replaces the condition lost during the preceding lactation and better nourished ewe can have greater ovulation rates.  Mineral drenches can help to optimize the mineral and vitamin balance and improve ewes’ health and performance.