Winter Nutrition Recommendations 2017 - Sheep & Cattle

Planning for lambing – and more
A look at recommendations and options for improving sheep enterprise profitability with strategic nutrient supplementation and management advice.

Dry Feed Supplementation:

Stubbles and dry pasture still have some value. Sporadic rains and extreme heat since December will have leached most nutrients. However, what remains in the paddock is energy in the form of fibre. On its own it is almost worse then useless since protein levels will have dropped well below requirements, even for maintenance. It should be noted that as ewes, especially with multiples, approach lambing, their protein requirements increase markedly, as do the requirements of other nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and more.
Providing a high protein supplement, until green pick from the autumn break arrives, will offer the following benefits:-
➢ Soluble protein will encourage rumen microbes to multiply and to break down fibre for energy and in doing so will elevate protein status in the form of high quality microbial protein
➢ A suitable high protein supplement should supply, all, the necessary minerals, vitamins and trace elements in the right form to meet requirements of pre-partum ewes.
- Offer StockMins-HiPro free access until the autumn break has had effect.
- Cost: around 2.5cents per head per day

Planning for Lambing:

There was no better year than last year to illustrate the economic losses from inadequate nutrition management before lambing and beyond. Here are the observations of ANP.
➢ It doesn’t matter how good body condition is, twin lamb disease can occur when energy intake does not meet body requirements for developing foetuses or milk production. Multiples have a greater energy demand.
➢ Nutrient intake during autumn and winter flush can be heavily compromised as follows:-
o Dry matter in fresh pasture is low – up to 95% water
o Multiple foetuses reduce rumen capacity in the 3rd trimester.
o Compromised rumen size results in sub-optimal DM intake.
o Nutrient intake, especially energy and mineral, is reduced.
➢ Protein level in lush pasture is very high and usually well in excess of requirement, resulting in an energy cost to excrete.
➢ Intake of essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium from pasture will not normally meet requirements due to:-
o Low mineralization in young pasture
o High herbage potassium interferes with mineral absorption in the body
➢ Lambing on lucerne is not a good option unless hay or grain is fed with it.
➢ Foot scald (foot abscess) and poor feet condition will reduce the potential for grazing, again compromising DMI.
- Offer StockMins-EweLamLac free access 3-4weeks before lambing until 2 months after lambing. For multiples or in situations where energy may be limited, offer StockMins-EweLamLac HE which supplies 15% cracked corn as a glucose precursor to increase milk production.
- Where there are significant feet problems offer StockMins-Hoof n Horn. This supplement has all the attributes of StockMins-EweLamLac with the addition of key ingredients that increase hoof growth and elevate immunity.
Bovatec® can be added as an option to encourage more milk production

Grazing Cereals

Few things in life are free but cereal grazing is an exception. Like most free things however, there is a catch. Due to mineral and protein/energy imbalances and in some cases, anti-nutrient factors, there needs to be a nutrient balancing act depending on the type of livestock. Rapidly growing cereal crops are notoriously high in potassium and protein and low in minerals leading to the problems mentioned above. Furthermore, some crops, eg Whistler wheat contain anti-vitamin D factors leading to milk fever symptoms in ewes and rickets in young lambs. To counteract this, ANP has formulated a custom product containing a highly active form of Vitamin D called HyD. HyD facilitates the mobilization of calcium and increases dietary calcium uptake.
- Dry ewes and wethers offer StockMins-HiMag free access
- Lactating ewes with lambs offer StockMins-EweLamLac or EweLamLac HE
- If there is a risk of rickets or pasture-induced calcium deficiency, try our custom product, StockMins-EweLamLac plus HyD

Causmag, Lime and Salt – not all it’s made out to be!

When Merinos were grazed on native pastures and produced 60-70% lambs, a supplement of causmag, lime and salt was just about sufficient to meet the needs for calcium and magnesium. Today, with many farmers targeting lambing percentages in excess of 150% and with improved pastures and grazing crops, the situation is quite different. The animal needs just few grams of a highly available magnesium source to meet its needs. Magnesium oxide in causmag is poorly available to the animal.
Also the presence of acid salts and a balanced anion/cation ratio (DCAD) are essential to give ewes the best chance at rearing multiples from a mineral perspective. ANP supplements are balanced for DCAD and contain the right type and level of acid salts.
- Use StockMins-HiMag, StockMins-EweLamLac, StockMins-EweLamLac HE or StockMins-Hoof n Horn.
- A mixture of 1:1:1 causmag, lime and salt is just adequate for low producing Merinos