Getting extra calcium into ewes

sheepwise

Member
Location
SW Scotland
Have read on here that vets are saying that a lot of ewes are low in calcium this year. Was getting on great here with not a single prolapse a week into lambing however today have had to put harnesses on 4 ewes. Also this morning had two ewes with dead pairs as ewes not opened up properly. Not a disaster but do wonder if like others calcium is low. The ewes are lambing outside on decent grass after coming off fodder beet a month ago. They have Crystalyx tubs in the lambing field as we don’t feed any concentrates. So how could we get extra calcium into the ewes in this situation? Should add that ewes are in great fettle and those lambed are milking very well.
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Funny how these things seem to crop up :whistle:
post #3729 onwards
I wonder if they would take the calcium carbonate granules if you put it out like free access minerals?

Edit.
I'll stick some in a tub in the shed tonight and see if they take any.
 
Last edited:

Macsky

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Highland
Is it a lack of calcium, or a lack of the ability to mobilise calcium? I think vit D has a role to play in that, not sure what else. I’m sure I read that the rumenco lifeline precalver tubs are low in calcium specifically to encourage calcium mobilisation, I’m assuming from the skeleton.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
Similar here.
Loads of prolapse, plus a few ewes gone down with deficiency, which is unusual for me. Prolapse has been an issue previously though, but this year is bad. My vet would tell me they're too fat, which they may be, I feel I should have kept them a bit harder mid pregnancy.
 

bazza3034

Member
Location
co.tyrone
Bucket licks the key is having ewes in good condition on the run up to lambing to much feeding on the run up to lambing will only cause prolapse issue's use a blend not a pellet as some sheep gorge and also cause prolapse issues
 

Farmer_Joe

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
The North
I had a few prolapse near start (2 literally pushed the lots out so died) as soon as there was a sniff of grass growth I’ve stoped silage and just feed them more nuts they are fat but problem is still some thin ones in em! Touches loads of wood no prolapses since taking off silage :confused:

When I posted how little foot rot I had needless to say I’ve seen so many with it in last few weeks so prob have loads more prolapse tomorrow !!!
 
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yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
Have read on here that vets are saying that a lot of ewes are low in calcium this year. Was getting on great here with not a single prolapse a week into lambing however today have had to put harnesses on 4 ewes. Also this morning had two ewes with dead pairs as ewes not opened up properly. Not a disaster but do wonder if like others calcium is low. The ewes are lambing outside on decent grass after coming off fodder beet a month ago. They have Crystalyx tubs in the lambing field as we don’t feed any concentrates. So how could we get extra calcium into the ewes in this situation? Should add that ewes are in great fettle and those lambed are milking very well.
Funny how these things seem to crop up :whistle:
post #3729 onwards
I wonder if they would take the calcium carbonate granules if you put it out like free access minerals?

Edit.
I'll stick some in a tub in the shed tonight and see if they take any.
As part of probably the least scientific experiment ever, put this tub in with a pen of 30 or 40 in lambers.......
20210405_220734.jpg

Took this out the other day.........
20210406_195634.jpg

........so it's not the way to get any calcium into them - they didn't take any :facepalm: .
 

Alias

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Lancashire
We used to feed beet pulp nuts early on and then change to ewe rolls nearer to lambing and ended up with quite a few going down with tremblings, especially swaledales. Since we gave up with the beet things have been a lot better ,though we still get odds ones.
 

sheepwise

Member
Location
SW Scotland
Is not beet high in calcium
This is interesting as if I'm correct, and sheep are like dairy cows, then the body is never actually short of calcium but can get lazy at absorbing it if on a calcium rich diet. Therefore dry cows fed low calcium diets become efficient absorbers and when moved on to a higher calcium diet at calving are less likely to be calcium deficient ie. get milk fever. So wondering if ewes on beet pre lambing become lazy absorbers and then when moved onto grass for lambing become deficient as they are unable to absorb enough calcium from the lower calcium grass. Thoughts.
 

SLA

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
This is interesting as if I'm correct, and sheep are like dairy cows, then the body is never actually short of calcium but can get lazy at absorbing it if on a calcium rich diet. Therefore dry cows fed low calcium diets become efficient absorbers and when moved on to a higher calcium diet at calving are less likely to be calcium deficient ie. get milk fever. So wondering if ewes on beet pre lambing become lazy absorbers and then when moved onto grass for lambing become deficient as they are unable to absorb enough calcium from the lower calcium grass. Thoughts.
This is probably correct, when we first moved we had our ewes out on limestone grassland for the autumn/winter and had massive problems with calcium deficiency once inside - breeding ewes and non breeding replacement ewe lambs. Not had an issue since despite still using field. Assuming they got used to it?
 

sheepwise

Member
Location
SW Scotland
This is probably correct, when we first moved we had our ewes out on limestone grassland for the autumn/winter and had massive problems with calcium deficiency once inside - breeding ewes and non breeding replacement ewe lambs. Not had an issue since despite still using field. Assuming they got used to it?
What symptoms were you getting?
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
This is interesting as if I'm correct, and sheep are like dairy cows, then the body is never actually short of calcium but can get lazy at absorbing it if on a calcium rich diet. Therefore dry cows fed low calcium diets become efficient absorbers and when moved on to a higher calcium diet at calving are less likely to be calcium deficient ie. get milk fever. So wondering if ewes on beet pre lambing become lazy absorbers and then when moved onto grass for lambing become deficient as they are unable to absorb enough calcium from the lower calcium grass. Thoughts.
1 of the reasons given for ewes prolapsing is they are too fat. However being too fat is a sign they've had an easy winter. Dr Rex Dolby who spoke at one of @easyram1 's "do's" said if they've had too easy a time in mid pregnancy, the body does indeed get lazy in mobilising calcium such that later in pregnancy when more is required, they don't keep up to requirements, which affects muscle tone, hence prolapses.
 

SLA

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
What symptoms were you getting?
They were going off their legs, if you were lucky and caught them wobbling they recovered if you found them down they mostly didn’t get back up. Like they lost all strength in them, eating and bright as buttons but couldn’t stand. Blood test results came back as calcium deficient and a free access mineral seemed to help. The in lamb ones would then suddenly crash - probably triggered by lambing? Husband became quiet skilled at shooting a ewe and removing the lambs -had a lot of cades that year.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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