Time to check in with our vets
Local Land Services Western Region vets Dr Charlotte Cavanagh and Dr Sophie Hemley.
What supplements do my livestock really need?
Supplements are commonly sold in loose licks, lick blocks, drenches and injection forms – but what supplements do your livestock really need?
Calcium is the most abundant mineral element in an animal’s body, with the vast majority stored in the bones.
Calcium deficiencies are common in:
- young growing animals
- ewes in late gestation (lambing sickness)
- cows in early lactation (milk fever).
Selenium primarily functions to protect cellular membranes and produce thyroid hormones, however it also works with vitamin E to strengthen the immune system and protect against heavy metal toxicities.
Deficiencies in selenium and vitamin E commonly present as:
- white muscle disease (muscle weakness)
- ill thrift and poor growth rates in young
- decreased wool production and infertility in ewes.
Phosphorus is required for cell membranes, energy production, muscle contraction, appetite and bone formation.
Deficiencies are uncommon in sheep but can cause cattle to have:
- reduced growth rates
- a decreased appetite and be lethargic
- poor fertility.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be diagnosed via blood tests and occasionally by post mortem examination.
If you think your livestock are suffering from a deficiency ring your local District Veterinarian or you can find more information here.
We hope you find this information useful and give us a call to discuss anything further.
Dr Charlotte Cavanagh, Bourke, 0429 773 021 or Dr Sophie Hemley, Broken Hill, 0417 248 135.