Do you farm in a cobalt deficient area?

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Due to the poor lambing conditions experienced across the country, the 2018 lamb crop is estimated to be 1.5 million head smaller than last year.  This would be the smallest lamb crop since 2013 although it is anticipated that this will have a positive impact on lamb prices even with increased old season lamb slaughterings.

In general, temperatures have been unseasonably low meaning spring has also been late this year, with many areas experiencing snow during March. Grass growth was slower than typical which is likely to have negatively impacted on ewe milk yields and consequently lamb growth is also likely to have been negatively impacted although weather, grass growth and animal performance have all hopefully turned the corner recently. 

This year, in light of these factors, it is essential that lamb growth rates are supported and forage fully utilised from now on in order to maximise farm profitability.

Growing lambs have a high demand for minerals, trace elements and vitamins to support growth rates allowing them to develop a robust frame with good muscle (and fat) cover.

Correct mineral supplementation has been shown to help improve live weight gains and forage utilisation. These micronutrients are often deficient in grazing, and lambs can only store a limited amount in the body, so daily supplementation is essential for both phases to support healthy growth and improve meat quality.

Cobalt should be an element of focus if lambs are suffering from a prolonged growth check post weaning. Cobalt can be one of the main reasons why lambs don’t grow as quickly as expected whilst it is also  an important trace element for finishing animals as it is converted into vitamin B12 which is vital for energy conversion (metabolism) and subsequent growth. 

If Cobalt is deficient and/or not supplied in sufficient quantities, lamb growth can suffer and in severe cases lambs can suffer from a condition called pine. 

This is where the use of boluses in growing and finishing lambs can pay dividends. Nettex Cob-I-Sel Lamb boluses are formulated for lambs greater than 6 weeks of age and are unique due to their small size and weight.  They ensure an adequate, prolonged supply of Cobalt to the lamb on a daily basis without the need for additional supplementation ensuring lambs fully utilise the long-overdue flush of grass now being seen in order to maximise returns this summer.

For more information on cobisel click on the link below or for your nearest stockist please email