by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© March 2013, The Center For Development
Lamb, in particular, is a very important meat today, and the health of lambs is important for commercial farmers and for the public that consumes the meat of the animals.
Many lambs are not in good health, and this problem occurs around the world, even in places very suitable for their husbandry such as Australia and New Zealand. Even in these lands, where lambs are able to eat pasture all year round, I work with farmers who are having difficulty with reproduction of sheep, infections, low milk production, inadequate or poor quality wool production, and other difficulties with these loving animals. This article is a brief research report on what I am finding about these animals using nutritional balancing science.
The main problem lambs and sheep have is that the soil where they live is depleted of some nutrients, especially zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium. As a result, two things happen:
These find their way into the grasses and the animals must eat this grass. This unbalances the body chemistry of the animals, giving rise to a very fast oxidation rate and often a low sodium/potassium ratio, a sign of weakness and illness. This is where their problems begin and end.
WHAT TO DO
Rebuild the soil. Most of the soils of the world need an addition of copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium and perhaps a few other trace minerals. Standard trace mineral preparations will work, but they must emphasize these minerals, particularly copper. I am not sure why this is so, but it appears to be the case.
Slowly, the soil can be rebuilt and the animals will thrive better and better. I will report on test plots and other experiments that are ongoing at this time to verify and test this hypothesis.
Use of nutritional supplements. The lambs and sheep often need a few nutritional supplements to balance their body chemistry today. The supplements are usually those for fast oxidizers, as that is what their hair mineral tests reveal. They include Stress Pak, which is a multivitamin-mineral for fast oxidizers, or SBF, a multi-vitamin mineral supplement for fast oxidizers who also have a low sodium/potassium ratio, as many do.
Supplements also usually include extra zinc, calcium, magnesium, and perhaps copper and manganese. Another supplement that always seems to be needed today is TMG in doses of about 8-10 mg/kg. This is usually all that is needed for lambs and sheep.