Hendre Ifan Goch Project Update: Maximising lamb growth performance - trace element audit

After a meeting with Liz Genever and Phillipa Page in January, it was agreed for Phillipa Page from Flock Health Ltd to complete an audit as Rhys was not satisfied with the performance of the 2021 season lambs. 

For the trace element audit, the supply of trace elements was looked at over a period of 12 months. This included water supply, forage samples, supplementary feed, available licks/feed blocks, drenches and boluses that were being supplied to the flock and these amounts were then considered against the trace element requirement of the different groups of stock. It was then considered if any supply needed to be added in for any miss matches. 

The results of the audit showed that there was no significant concern with the supply of the majority of the macrominerals, but the grass samples from 2020 which were used in the audit showed deficiencies in the supply of iodine and marginal deficiencies in selenium and cobalt when assessed against the dietary requirements for the class of stock. 


Graphs 1 and 2. Iodine requirement and supply for ewes and growing lambs at Hendre Ifan Goch


The above graphs show that the iodine supply from the pasture is below the requirements for both the ewes and growing lambs.

The current levels of supplementation given to the ewes via a drench or bolus were adequate for selenium and cobalt, but iodine was not contained within these supplements, therefore it was advised for a pre lambing and pre tupping supplement to be used that contained iodine, selenium and cobalt. 

The current levels of supplementation to the lambs were only adequate for the lambs receiving a bolus, as the drench used did not contain iodine. The plan for the lambs in 2022 is to adjust the supply of iodine by using a drench containing iodine and monitor and measure the effect of interventions to achieve effective, efficient and profitable management.