Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency  (Read 4758 times)

AndyR

  • Joined Jan 2010
Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« on: March 24, 2011, 05:45:21 pm »
Hi There,
We have a problem - has anyone had experience of this?

We have had a soil test on our sheep pasture- it shows that we have a significant Cobalt deficiency.  This, we are told, explains why our 7 Ram lambs from last year have not grown on as we were expecting.  They are very small and some have lost part of their fleece.
There are apparently a number our options for improving the situation:-
1.  Give them each an injection of Vitamin B12 - apparently only provides a short term solution (1-2 months)
2.  Give them each a trace element bolus, which apparently lasts for 6 months or so
3.  Give them a drench of trace elements, Which lasts a bit longer.
4.  Dose the pasture with a trace element mixture to correct the current soil deficiency, which lasts between 5 and 10 years

the problem is cost Option 4 appears to be the right long term solution, but costs 15 - 30 an acre, which for our 30 acres is a significant cost for a hobby on a pension.

Does anyone out there have any experience of this (or similar trace element deficiency) problems? 
We would be glad to hear of anyone else's experiences and/or solutions
Thank
Andy




SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 06:07:47 pm »
I don't know about your bit of Carmarthenshire but here on the borders between Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland our moorland and upland ground is endemically short of copper, cobalt and selenium.  Every farmer and smallholder around here routinely provides those three trace elements to all their stock. 

Drenches last a few weeks unless the required elements are chelated, in which case it is more like a few months.  Since the ground up here is also endemically infested with liver fluke we are drenching for fluke every 6 weeks from October through March anyway, so usually give minerals along with that before or after tupping (before if you want more lambs, after if you want more singles and less triplets) and before lambing, and minerals again if they look like they need some with the midsummer worming / at clipping time / when dipping or using pour-on for flies and other fleece & skin loving parasites.  We give minerals to lambs around weaning time too.  And mineral blocks are available before lambing and during or after tupping and if the winter is severe.
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

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 06:10:03 pm »
We have a copper deficiency, which causes the same problems, of the lambs not growing on well.
We drench them every 4 weeks or so when they're on grass (cos we buy our hay in, from a farm on different soil, they're OK when on hay!)
I might have investigated boluses but truthfully, you're gathering and doing something or other every month or so after lambing it seems, so it's just as easy to drench them.

LOL Sally, you beat me to it!

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 06:15:22 pm »
Hi - Yes I had a selenium cobalt deficiency.  To prevent it happening again I had seaweed meal on offer all the time, and treated them homoeopathically to help with absorbtion.  Ainsworths of London 0207 935 5330 is the best place to get the remedies, and they post out.

All the best
Sue
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 06:17:03 pm »
Oh, well I am interested in the seaweed meal idea.  What form does it come in?
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

Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 07:31:52 pm »
Hi,

If you decide to go the Bolus route then drop me a pm for a price on Iodine, Selenium & Cobalt Bolus

Thanks
www.suppliesforsmallholders.co.uk - Safe Secure shopping for all your livestock equipment and supplies.
Also www.suppliesforfarmers.co.uk for more larger farm related items

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 07:48:19 pm »
Have used options 2,3,4, allwork ok have settled on cheap and cheerfull drencing

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 07:52:23 pm »
Oh, well I am interested in the seaweed meal idea.  What form does it come in?

Mine came dried and ground, because no-one seemed to be supplying at a reasonable price at the time I had to buy half a ton.  It came in sealed polythene sacks, and seems to be lasting for ages.  When you first put it out they eat like mad, but then regulate themselves to what they actually need.

I just googled till I found what I wanted at a reasonbly sensible price, bu if you get stuck for a supplier let me know and I will go and check what is printed on the sacks.  Its not cheap, but neither is a vet!!!!

All the best
Sue
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

Freddiesfarm

  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: Sheep - Cobalt Deficiency
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 08:20:43 am »
Have used options 2,3,4, allwork ok have settled on cheap and cheerfull drencing

I've done 1,2,3 and always opt for drenching now, although if I have a lmab with real growth issues and scabby ears I give it the jab as well.

Plus you can buy specific cobalt/selenium mineral blocks which I have also done but you cannot guarantee that the ones who need it will eat it.

 

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