Cattle

Cattle

Vitamin B12 and improved production in Ruminants

 Facts about Vitamin B12 and Ruminants

¨Vitamin B12 is required for efficient energy metabolism

Efficient energy metabolism = higher weight gain

¨Vitamin B12 is made by the “bugs” in the rumen – ruminants have no other way of making this vitamin.

¨Management factors which upset the rumen balance (for example – a change of diet from pasture to crop, or stress such as weaning), reduce or prevent Vitamin B12 manufacture.

¨Stress increases the animals’ requirement for Vitamin B12 and reduces the supply-just when they need more they cannot make more! Also Vitamin B12 helps the nervous system cope with stress.

¨Cobalt is required to make Vitamin B12 so deficiencies are more likely when Cobalt is deficient or unavailable because of interactions with other trace elements.

 

WHEN to supplement

To maximise production it is best given prior to critical production periods.

At least give a dose prior to or at these times:

Weaning - stress and diet change occurs simultaneously!

 

Diet transistions – dry feed to lush pasture or pasture to stubble.

 

Drought supplementation – make efficient use of expensive supplements.

 

Feedlot induction – maximise feed conversion efficiency.

HOW to supplement

Vitamin B12 injection is available in 500 ml blister packs. $60.00 at Mudgee Veterinary Hospital. The standard dose rate is: 1 ml for sheep and 2 mls for cattle.

 

USE VITAMIN B12 WHEN CALVES OR LAMBS ARE WEANED

It is given by sub-cutaneous injection – just like a vaccination.

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