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Target 14 MJ of Energy Per Day for Prime Lambs

23 September 2015

UK – Reasonable daily liveweight gain expectations of 200 grams mean lambs weighing 35 kilos need 14MJ of energy per day, nutritionists are advising.

Achieving this from grass alone will be a “struggle”, according to Rumenco’s technical manager, David Thornton.

David Thornton of Rumenco says getting 14MJ/day from grass will be a "struggle". 

Lambs weighing 35 kilos must intake 14 MJ/day and Mr Thornton stresses worm burdens are also a concern for lambs at grass.

“Heavy infestations of internal parasites will result in poor performance and checks to growth rates,” he says. “Any supplementary nutrition needs to support the existing on-farm control strategies.”

But balancing diets with supplements containing diatomaceous earth (DE) has been shown in Aberyswyth University trials to enable lambs to better cope with worm burdens.

Last year, an on-farm trial looked at the effects of DE in lambs over a 10 week period, with lambs receiving DE remaining significantly cleaner than the control group and having superior body condition scores.

Cobalt and selenium, both included in the DE formulation, support healthy lambs.

“Cobalt and selenium are particularly important,” explains Mr Thornton, “Cobalt is vital for the synthesis of vitamin B12, important for energy metabolism, and selenium is vital for immune function.”

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