2 of the best licks to have in your field this autumn

Autumn grass is low in sugar and so youngstock should be supplemented with an energy and mineral source. Poor weather and low dry matters can also hinder desired intakes.

This is why Uniblock has developed Vitulix to fill that breach and to provide calves with the elements not supplied by grass.

“Vitulix is accessible to calves 24/7, so they have a free choice as to when and how much they consume,’’ said Paul Fox of Uniblock.

Vitulix not only provides all the protected minerals and vitamins, it also includes 30% more energy than bagged feed as it has a high ME value of 14MJ/kg/DM, which covers the calves for feeding when grass quality isn’t at its best.

Vitulix also contains added protected protein to complement the protein in the grass.

“By introducing Vitulix, farmers could halve their feed costs and reap the benefits of the protected minerals, vitamins and feed value supplied in the feed lick,’’ added Paul.

Calf health performance

Vitulix is a concentrated, quality feed block designed to meet the needs of calves whilst grazing but, importantly, it complements grass without replacing it.

“Symptoms of trace element deficiencies may not always be visible to the farmer, but even the slightest deficiency can result in a significant reduction in performance and production,’’ Paul warned.

Vitulix at a glance:

  • 30% more energy than bagged feed;
  • High in sugar unlike autumn grass;
  • Protein supplied by soya bean meal.

It contains a proportion of selenised yeast, the most effective source of selenium for improving calves’ immune status and muscle development while reducing risks of muscular deficiencies. It includes chelated zinc for supporting the immune system and improving skin and hoof health.

Three different sources of copper are present, which is especially important for weaned calves. For more information on Vitulix, click here

Providing ewes with fish oil and minerals

Uniblock’s Unitup lick provides energy, protein and, importantly, omega oils to improve fertility.

As well as this, fish oils provide high concentrations of omega 3, long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are very long-chain fatty acids essential for good health and high animal performance. The most important are alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.

The key benefits of supplementing with omega 3 oils are:

  • Improved fertility by stimulation of prostaglandin suppression; and
  • Greater resistance to disease by boosting autoimmune response.

The greatest benefits from supplementing with fish oils are likely to be seen with breeding stock. Both male and female animals have shown improvements in performance following supplementation.

In females, omega 3 increases the number of follicles in the ovary, resulting in more eggs being shed and an improved fertilisation rate. At birth, the newborn has been shown to have a higher birth weight and greater disease resistance when the dam is supplemented with omega 3 oils.

In male animals, fish oil has been shown to increase the number and motility of sperm and increased libido without aggression. It is always advisable to include fish oil in the diet via a supplement, such as fishmeal; fish oil is not very palatable when fed neat.

Uniblock’s source contains 100% oil extracted from mixed species of fish and is free from sediment and impurities. The daily intake of Unitup supplies the required level of omega 3. For the best results, give Unitup to your breeding ewes four weeks prior to mating.

Unitup is suitable for use in the sheep welfare scheme and at a cost of 5c/ewe/days. For more information on Unitup, click here

Further information

For more information on Uniblock’s range of products, call: 042-932-9176; or email at: [email protected]; or go online to: www.uniblock.ie.