Rickets afflicting lambs grazing on cereals

AusFarm Nutrition Products has recently seen evidence of rickets-like symptoms in lambs, ewes and stud rams on grazing crops and pasture.

Rickets, broadly, is a form of calcium deficiency showing as weak and bent limbs. Calcium deficiency can arise in several ways eg.
> frank calcium deficiency in the diet
> calcium:phosphorous imbalance
> deficiency in vitamin D

Pasture normally contains sufficient calcium, but other dietary deficiencies, imbalances or antagonists may still cause symptoms. For example some grazing cereals, particulalry wheat and oats, contains a vitamin D antagonist that reduces the efficiency of calcium absorption.

Without specific knowledge of the causes, ANP recommends StockMins-EweLamLac plus Hy-D.

Hy-D is a highly active form of vitamin D that facilitates calcium absorption. In combination with StockMins - EweLamLac, an available calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, trace element and vitamin supplement, ANP are offering a calcium and Vitamin D solution to help prevent the deficiencies causing rickets.

There is some evidence to say that afflicted lambs may well recover when supplemented with similar sources of calcium and Vitamin D. However, this depends on the severity of rickets in particular animals. Recovery has been seen to occur between 2-4 weeks after supplementation has commenced.

We also recommend seeking veterinary advice to confirm symptoms.