Category: Nutrition

Feeding the Pregnant Sow

Feeding pregnant (gestation) sows is very important for future production. Gestation can be divided into 4 feeding stages: the first 0-4 weeks, following 5-11 weeks, then increasing feed during the next 12-15 weeks and in the final week reducing feed. In the first week following mating keep the sows or gilts on a low feeding… Read more »

‘Big Head’ in horses – When are they at risk?

Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism or commonly ‘Big Head’ is a disease caused by a calcium deficiency in horses. Animals store calcium in their bones. In times when there is a limited amount of calcium being absorbed, or when there is a severe calcium deficiency, horses will draw calcium from their bones, primarily from their face. It is… Read more »

Why does Yolk colour vary?

Consumers link egg quality to yolk colour. Depending on the nutrition of the laying hen, yolk colour can vary from a very pale yellow to deep orange. Pigments are transferred directly from the diet to the forming egg yolks in the ovaries. Hens fed diets based on wheat, barley, sorghum or other non-pigmented grains will… Read more »

Magnesium Deficiency – Grass Tetany

Cattle store very little magnesium in their body and rely on Magnesium being supplied daily in their feed. If pasture levels are low this can trigger a deficiency. Symptoms include: Sudden deaths. Early signs…facial & ear twitching. Become agitated with sounds or movement eg Handling, birds flying overhead. Staggering as it becomes worse. Lying on… Read more »

Copper Toxicity in Sheep

Sheep are very efficient at absorbing Copper from their diet; however the problem is that they do not excrete excess copper very well. What happens is they gradually accumulate the excess in the liver. When the liver becomes “saturated” it is released and kills the animal. The levels can accumulate gradually or quickly depending on… Read more »

Maintaining butterfat

The most common cause of low butterfat is a shortage of roughage leading to acidic conditions in the rumen. Roughage keeps the cow chewing her cud and in doing so she id producing copious quantities of saliva containing bicarbonate which buffers the rumen. The amount of bicarb you can add in the feed can be… Read more »

Dry Stalks and Cattle Don’t Mix

Do not wait till you have only dry stalk to start supplementary feeding. When the leaf falls from the stalk the pasture value is too low to support production and you realistically only have a few options.