Balance minerals for profit

Sheep farmers could add 1500 to their bottom line by making sure their ewes and lambs are receiving a mineral-balanced feed.

Jonathan Guy, of JG Animal Health, said a mineral deficiency or in-balance could cause any number of problems in the flock, from heart trouble to poor fertility or scours.

“There are 90 trace elements in the soil and only 27 are recognised in animals, so we have a lot to learn.

But feeding is all about balance.”

Conception rates could be boosted by 10% by using a mineral-balanced drench, said Mr Guy.

A 500-head flock would see a return of 2000, at the extra cost of 84p a ewe, he said.

He recommended treating ewes before tupping and six weeks before lambing to produce a greater number of stronger lambs.

Lambs should then be treated at six weeks old and just before weaning, at a total cost of 2.50 a ewe.

“It’s not much to spend, as it helps cut losses at lambing time and to get the lambs away one month earlier.”