PROBLEMS / SOLUTIONS GUIDE

AgImports Products. Providing market leading animal feed supplements for optimum livestock production, nutrition & vitality.

COMMON DEFICIENCIES

OPTIONS FOR SUPPLEMENTATION

Before starting on a supplementation program there are a number of things to consider:

  • Method of supplementing eg. Dry lick or Block?
  • What is your goal eg. maintenance, growth or increased fertility?
  • Which animals are you going to feed eg. dry cows, cows and calves, steers or weaners?

Answering these questions will help to make it clear which supplement is best for you. The team at AgImports can help you work through
these options to ensure you get the most out of your supplementation program.

PHOSPHORUS

The most devastating sign of phosphorus deficiency is reproductive failure with low calving rates, cows failing to cycle, cows failing to conceive and increased abortions. Calf mortality may be higher than normal. Phosphorus is the second most important mineral in bones (after calcium). In severe cases of phosphorus deficiency the bones may be fragile and stock lame. Phosphorus deficiency can also cause a depraved appetite and stock may chew on sticks, bones or rocks. This increases the risk of losing stock from botulism.

PROTEIN

Protein is essential for the growth of stock and also for the maintenance of the microbes in the rumen. Protein deficiency in ruminants causes a drop infeed intake as they are unable to digest the feed in the rumen. If this situation is not corrected with a protein supplement, feed intake will continue to fall and the animal will begin to lose weight.

Protein deficiency in ruminants should be corrected by using a mixture of urea and bypass protein. Urea is utilised in the rumen, while bypass protein is utilised in the fourth stomach (abomasum). Bypass protein is important for muscle development, growth rate, wool growth and milk production. Urea is more economical to use as a protein source, but a combination of urea and Protein Meal will give the best results. The tips on urea use should always be observed

TRACE MINERALS

AgImports Products include trace minerals in almost all of their supplements. Copper, Cobalt, Iodine, Selenium and Zinc are all important for various functions. It can be difficult to identify these deficiencies individually so the simplest way is to include them all in the mix.

Copper deficiency may be a cause of poor fertility and can also cause ‘sway back’ in lambs. Copper is important in wool for mechanical strength. Copper eficiency may cause poor pigmentation in cattle and horses.

Cobalt is important in the formation of haemoglobin. Cobalt deficiency causes poor growth in lambs and
calves and they can become anaemic.

Iodine deficiency may be manifested by general weakness and animals may be born blind, hairless or dead. Iodine deficiency affects quality and quantity of wool growth.

Selenium deficiency causes muscular degeneration (White Muscle Disease) in calves and lambs. Selenium deficiency can also cause retained afterbirth. Selenium deficiency also restricts wool growth.

Zinc deficiency causes reduced feed intake, poor growth rate and cracks can occur in the hooves. Wool may loose its crimp and fall out.

BIGHEAD

Bighead is a condition horses may develop when grazing improved pasture. It often occurs in Buffel pasture, but may also occur with Kikuyu or Setaria. It is caused by the oxalic acid in the grass which “ties up” the calcium, creating a calcium deficiency in the horse. The problem is often worse when the pasture has fresh growth. It can be managed by providing a calcium supplement to all horses grazing these types of pasture.

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