Beware low mineral levels in forages this winter

Beware low mineral levels in forages this winter

WHILE all livestock farmers welcomed the tremendous grass growth enjoyed across

Northern Ireland during the autumn months, HVS Animal Health is confirming that animals grazed during that period were susceptible to low mineral intakes.

“The same principle holds where third cut silage is fed to stock over the coming months,” said the company’s Paul Elwood.

“Again, the strong likelihood is that these forages will have quite a low mineral status.

He continued: “Low mineral levels in forages could well create problems with replacement dairy heifers put to the bull over the coming weeks. And this is very much the case where farmers choose to use sexed semen.

“The end result may well be a very considerable fall-off in fertility levels, caused by sub-optimal mineral levels.”

Paul went on to point out that heifers that have been predisposed to a mineral shortfall should be drenched with Liquid Gold Dairy three weeks prior to breeding.

“The Liquid Gold range contain all of the minerals and vitamins required by dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep with Zinc, Manganese and Copper made available solely in a chelated form.”

Paul continued: “Increasingly, farmers must seek to maximise the performance of their livestock. The Liquid Gold range has been developed to meet this specific requirement.

“Fast growing grass swards, which were such a feature of the autumn period, are high in protein and soluble carbohydrate but can be deficient in many of the trace minerals and vitamins required to maximise the growth of breeding stock.

“This is why it is so important to drench animals with the trace elements and vitamins they need to maximise their growth rates and fertility levels over the coming weeks.

“Making these minerals available in the form which guarantees their optimal uptake level within the animal is equally important.

“The good news is that our HVS Liquid Gold range has a proven track record in balancing out the key trace element deficiencies that build up in cattle that are fed high forage diets.”

HVS will have a major presence at this year’s Royal Ulster Winter Fair. Where calf rearing is concerned, the company is confirming a very strong demand for its ground-breaking Calf Excel supplement. The product has been specifically developed to maintain the well-being of young calves and help bring relief against intestinal disorders and non-specific diarrhoea.

Paul continued: “We are now seeing sheds used for the rearing of calves are in almost continuous use. This, in turn, allows bug populations to build up, despite the best efforts of the farmers in question. This is why the use of Calf Excel is so important.”

Paul pointed out that Calf Excel has a positive influence on the well-being of calves and brings relief from intestinal disorders and non-specific diarrhoea.

“It also supports the young animal during a period of increased stress,” he added.

“Calf Excel can also help increase feed intakes, boost a calf’s response to vaccination and generally improve the health status of the young animal.”

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