Cereal pastures are an excellent source of feed for both dry and lactating stock when managed correctly. Like with any change in the diet, it is critical to ensure appropriate transition feeding protocols are followed when introducing stock to new pastures to reduce the risk of metabolic disorders. Autumn pastures can be variable in their dry matter composition and nutrient availability. This inconsistency can affect the supply of energy and protein, as well as the mineral supply exposing stock to the risk of metabolic disorders such as Grass Tetany and Milk Fever. Of significant importance at this time of year is Magnesium, an essential mineral required for grazing animals due to the increased risk of Grass Tetany, which occurs predominately in cereal pastures due to:
- High potassium – Reduced plant uptake of magnesium
- High nitrogen – Reduced magnesium absorption in the rumen
- Low fibre – Reduced retention of feed therefore lower absorption of magnesium
- Low sodium levels – Magnesium absorption is a sodium linked process in the rumen
Supplementation with MidMag whilst stock are grazing cereal pastures will assist in balancing the essential nutrients required to reduce the risk of Grass Tetany and overcome mineral deficiencies. MidMag contains a blend of our Bioplex® minerals that are easily absorbed and readily metabolised, optimising animal performance.
Late Gestation and Early Lactation Nutrition Management
Late gestation and early lactation are critical times for our stock, both sheep and cattle. With energy demands increasing exponentially late in gestation, coinciding with reduced intake capacity and therefore requiring more nutrient dense feeds to meet demands. As well as the increased requirement for energy, stock mineral demand increases, both in late gestation and certainly in early lactation. The type of feed on offer will greatly impact both the supply of these nutrients as well as their capacity to be utilised by the animal. Whilst careful consideration of a range of on farm factors can improve your birthing percentage and reduce mortality rates, managing the mineral profile of stock during this period can assist with the following:
- High potassium (K) levels in green feed and supplementary feed available at this time of year interferes with the mobilisation of calcium and magnesium from bone reserves of our pregnant animals, nutrients required prior and post lambing/calving
- Daily requirements of calcium and magnesium cannot be met from green feed and supplementary feeds alone in late gestation and early lactation.
- Magnesium along with Vitamin D and phosphorus help improve the efficiency of calcium use, providing for a stronger, more viable lamb and ultimately improving animal performance
- Magnesium and calcium play vital roles in muscle function and can assist during the birthing process
- Magnesium can aid in reducing stress
- Sufficient supply of minerals to our mature animals, ensures adequate levels are provided to our young stock via milk, reducing morbidity rates and improving the performance of valuable animals
We recommend supplementation with MidMag six weeks prior to lambing and through the lambing period to ensure a sufficient mineral status for the animal and to overcome deficiency challenges. Supplementation with MidMag will provide a full profile of macro and micro minerals, including a blend of our Bioplex® minerals, that may help minimise the incidence of deficiencies and maximise the overall health status of the animal.
The loss of one ewe pre-lambing includes the potential loss of twin lambs. If her value is $300 as a quality breeding animal with her lambs valued at $180 each. There is an immediate loss of $660. There are costs associated with poor performance due to deficiencies, decreased dry matter intake, poor feed conversion, reduced milk production and poor performance or death of offspring. The inclusion of MidMag at 6 cents/head/day for a ewe or 32 cents/ head/day for a cow is a small cost for improved overall performance.
Alltech Lienert Australia offer a range of products and solutions for various livestock industries. For more information, contact your local Sales Representative or call 1800 649 231.