The mineral minefield - what do livestock require for optimal performance?

Over the past few years, Roger and Dyddanwy of Crickie farm have been using various ways to supplement minerals to their livestock. They have trialled different boluses, drenches and buckets, all of which have had varying degrees of success and are adding a significant cost to the business. Some forage samples which were undertaken in the past have shown some deficiencies, but a thorough audit has not been undertaken of all the feeds, forages and water offered to the livestock. Furthermore, Roger and Dyddanwy noted that lamb performance deteriorated at the end of the summer and into the autumn which is again adding further cost to the system.  

With the addition of alternative crops of herbal leys and fodder beet grown on farm over the last 12 months and a provision for Faecal Egg Count (FEC) analysis, the project aims to monitor performance and review the mineral status of the farm. The project aims  to evaluate how the different herbal leys contribute to the mineral supply and provide a clear plan of which leys would be best suited to different classes of stock. Options for supplementation to meet the needs of the livestock at different stages of production will also be reviewed. 

The project will contribute to the Sustainable Land Management outcomes including:

  • reduce the farms greenhouse gas emissions
  • resource efficiency 
  • contribute to high animal health and welfare.