Trace elements are required for numerous metabolic functions in livestock; optimal production and performance require adequate intake of balanced trace minerals. As trace mineral status of the animal declines from adequate to marginal, immunity and enzyme function are compromised, followed by loss of production and reproductive performance. Good animal health is essential if target growth rates and fertility are to be achieved.
Vital Kondoo supports these requirements by using a careful balance of key trace minerals. Optimum levels of selenium, iodine, manganese and zinc have been included to ensure an active immune system to fight infection, good antioxidant status to protect cells against damage and a well- functioning blood clotting system that will help to limit infectious challenge. With optimal health as a priority, growth of young animals is supported through good thyroid hormone production, which encourages efficient energy utilisation and improved production of growth hormones. This favours lean tissue development and healthy bone formation. A careful balance of calcium and phosphorous helps to prevent urinary calculi, or stones, which can lead to bladder rupture or ‘water belly’ in male animals. For older animals, reproductive ability is enhanced by achieving optimal levels of reproductive hormones and maintaining a healthy reproductive system. Vital Kondoo does not contain copper; sheep are extremely susceptible to copper toxicity, much more so than cattle, which is why it is necessary to use a mineral that has been formulated specifically for small ruminants.
Feeding a balanced diet during pregnancy is extremely important. Sheep with dietary deficiencies, especially in the last trimester, are prone to metabolic diseases such as hypocalcaemia (milk fever), hypomagnesaemia and Twin Lamb disease (Pregnancy Toxaemia, ketosis). Ewes that are carrying twins need almost twice as many nutrients as those with single lambs, so this group is even more susceptible. Milk fever, hypomagnesaemia and Twin Lamb disease are life threatening to the ewe and lamb(s), and can be avoided with good nutritional management.
Vital Kondoo should be fed daily from a few weeks of age as a free-choice mineral. Intakes should be monitored to ensure sufficient amounts are being consumed. Lambs and kids can be given Vital Kondoo from a few weeks of age, when milk consumption will drop and forage consumption will increase.