Trace element deficiencies in lambs after weaning are common and noticeably impact growth and performance. However, they can be corrected with a bolus application.

Finishing lambs need to receive the optimum levels of essential trace elements to maximise growth rates, health and vitality – which will determine finishing time and ultimately, profitability.

However, with trace element deficiencies in lambs after weaning becoming more common, Dr Elizabeth Berry, company veterinary director of Animax, advises adding a bolus application to ensure the essential trace elements of selenium, iodine and cobalt, along with copper if required, are delivered.

“Ensuring the correct balance of trace elements is available to lambs offers many advantages. It increases production efficiency by maximising the use of energy and protein from grazed crops. This in turn reduces costs and the need for extra concentrates," she said.

“It is also a valuable tool to maintain post weaning performance. All this, will result in earlier finishing times, giving farmers the opportunity to catch the higher market prices if desired.

“2018 has, so far, has proved to be a very challenging year, from a very wet and cold spring to a hot and dry summer, and farmers need to focus on maximising returns. Providing the right nutrition for energy, growth and health, will have a positive impact on performance, and importantly, profitability.

Rob Stephens, from Brecon regularly buys a trace element bolus and has noticed a huge difference on his concentrate usage,

“We buy lean lambs and we don’t quite know their history when they come to us, so we use a specific lamb bolus product to give them a daily release of cobalt, selenium, iodine and copper. It does a good job and we now only use feed for some triplets and pet lambs. We are making a massive saving on cake,” he said.

According to Animax the Tracesure lamb finisher bolus can be given to lambs from 20kg and gives optimal, consistent supplementation of the essential trace elements for their needs in a single, small bolus for up to five months.