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Responsible Mineral Strategy; Key for Ewe Success

Ensuring ewes receive the correct mineral supplementation will influence ewe health and production, as well as lamb survival, vigour and growth rates. Often diets based on forage alone will be deficient in essential minerals, meaning implementing a responsible mineral strategy which meets mineral and vitamin requirements is essential to allow ewes to perform to their maximum potential. Deficiency can occur in ewes without any obvious symptoms yet can be indicated by lower milk quality and yield, lighter lambs with reduced survival and growth rates as well as difficulties at lambing. All minerals and vitamins play key roles in various aspects of performance, health and welfare with table 1 highlighting some key minerals to consider in the success of your flock.


A responsible mineral strategy encompasses not only meeting those required levels, but also considering the source of mineral used in doing so. Minerals and vitamins are only of use to the animal when absorbed across the bloodstream, this is referred to as bioavailability. Around 90% of all minerals are fed from inorganic sources such as sulphates and oxides. Sulphates have low bioavailability due to being highly reactive in feed and the rumen meaning they bind to other nutrients, while oxides are largely insoluble meaning bioavailability can be low. Therefore, it is important to ensure mineral supplements contain more bioavailable sources where possible.

The NWF Agriculture mineral range is specifically formulated with a responsible mineral strategy in mind to provide optimal vitamin and mineral levels to meet the demands of pregnant ewes, to maximise lamb growth and survival and promote overall ewe health through the inclusion of:

  • Zinc Intellibond as an alternative and more bioavailable source of Zinc which does not react in the rumen or the feed
    • Optimised levels of Vitamin E and Selenium for immune support
      o Inclusion of AO Mix and Optimin (Organic) Selenium for improved antioxidant capacity and support of the immune system
  • Vitamin and mineral levels that work to meet the true requirements of the ewe, taking into account the latest research.

Paying closer attention to the mineral and vitamin status of flocks can ultimately impact on overall performance and flock margins. To review or discuss how to start your flock on a responsible mineral strategy speak to your local NWF Sales Specialist.

View the NWF Mineral Range.

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