FEEDING IN-LAMB ewes organic zinc and selenium has proved to increase their ability to withstand infections and improve growth rates in their progeny.

In a study at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, ewes were split into groups and fed a course mix for four weeks before and after lambing with one of four different mineral ration combinations.

The results show lambs reared by ewes fed Alltech”s Bioplex Zinc organic supplement grew 13% faster in their first four weeks than those on ewes fed an inorganic zinc supplement, explains Harper Adams” Sandy Mackenzie.

Lambs from ewes receiving Bioplex Zinc had average liveweight gains 30g/day higher than those reared by inorganically supplemented ewes, says Dr Mackenzie.

“This equates to an extra 1kg of growth in the critical first four to five weeks of life. This could well be the key to reaching finishing weights significantly earlier.

“Ewe blood samples also showed improved zinc and selenium status in ewes, which had a positive effect on ewes” ability to resist infections,” he adds.