Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: GM-free mineral lick buckets?  (Read 199 times)

dairymaid

  • Joined Oct 2021
GM-free mineral lick buckets?
« on: October 06, 2021, 11:06:40 am »
Just wondering if anyone knows of a decent mineral lick bucket with no GM content?  Tall order I know!

MVF make one but my ewes really didn't take to it last year so I am looking for alternatives.  I did end up using molasses only last year (which they loved) but I'm not sure if the cobalt and selenium in there are enough?  Any thoughts? 

I have dairy ewes and we use the milk to make cheese, so the GM-free part is really important.
I will continue my (never-ending) research but thought I'd ask here for the collective wisdom and experience!

:-) thanks in advance

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: GM-free mineral lick buckets?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2021, 06:09:13 pm »
Could you not just bolus them?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: GM-free mineral lick buckets?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2021, 03:57:47 am »
I think most of us use a good chelated drench once or twice a year, or boluses, as well as licks; I don't think they will get all they need from licks alone. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

dairymaid

  • Joined Oct 2021
Re: GM-free mineral lick buckets?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2021, 06:39:13 am »
Thanks for both those replies.  I've never given boluses before but open to it! Can you recommend anything specific? My dairy ewes work hard once they are milking and I give them a good non-gm 20% mix of feed.  I was pleased/relieved to see they were in pretty good condition at shearing but I'm sure I could help them more. 
Drench/bolus recommendations would be gratefully received - I've just had a look and its a minefield!!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: GM-free mineral lick buckets?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2021, 09:28:34 am »
If you are giving them feed then they are getting some minerals in those.  (I should have thought of that with it being dairy sheep.  :dunce:)   So they may be okay with just their cake and a lick, but you'd have to get the vet to do bloods to be sure. 

Fleece is a good indicator of cobalt and copper, though - if the fleece is tender, miscoloured, has a harsh feel you wouldn't expect, any of those things would indicate mineral deficiencies.  How were their fleeces this year?  (And did you save one for me?  :eyelashes:)

A lot of us use Jonathan Guy Animal Health for our drenches; he is very good and will make up smallish quantities, hence his popularity with smallholders.  I would suggest you chat (or e-chat) with him about your situation and see what he recommends.

I've not used boluses in sheep myself, but several on here do or have.  Have a search on "bolus" in "Sheep" and come back and ask if you still have questions.  (And indeed, to tell us what you did and how it worked out for you - it's always good to know the outcomes!)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: GM-free mineral lick buckets?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2021, 10:56:31 am »
I concur with Sally - I use Jonathan Guy for both my sheep (Shetlands) and dairy goats for their mineral drenches. I use the sheep drench with copper for my goats about 3 to 4 times per year, and the Shetlands get the same (with copper) once per year, usually around lambing time. If they are lambing the next year again  I will give them the one withpout copper in the autumn, but have found they do ok just cruising through their years off. The sheep are only fed during the last 4 weeks before lambing and after (depending on grass coming through).

 

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