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Why is Vitamin E Important?

Vitamin E is an essential part of sheep production. Recently there were some source problems with mfg. resulting in a shortage in supply that is now resulting in increased costs of Vitamin E. In sheep production fast growing lambs deprived of selenium or vitamin or both can develop white muscle disease which may affect a few animals or I have seen instances after forced exercise, vaccination, it involves almost the entire group. In view of the shortage, it may be prudent to revalue your use of Vitamin E. Vitamin E lasts in grain and dry hay products about ninety days after harvest, animals are capable of storing Vitamin E for an additional ninety days. So what I am suggesting, that under normal situations, ewes in the north country should start receiving supplementation in January. Farther south this may become necessary later or perhaps never. Animals on grass don’t need Vitamin E supplementation. Selenium and iodine are always essential and are easily supplied through free choice salt as can Vitamin E when necessary. Fast growing lambs in a dry lot will require selenium and Vitamin E.

Ewes held in dry lot year round will require additional Vitamin E depending on age of feed source. Sheep being fed poor quality forage will require more Vitamin E than those fed good quality roughage. Goats have similar requirements but are less of a problem with kids because they don’t grow as fast.

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