Sheep, Kelp, Selenium & white muscle disease

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Maria, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Maria

    Maria Well-Known Member

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    I had a bag of dried kelp left over from last year that my cows turned their noses up at, so I tried it on the sheep I got this year. At first I mixed it with minerals and they liked it. But when I offered it free choice they went nuts over it. They act like it's a delicious feed all by itself.

    I started feeding it free choice a couple of weeks before our first live lamb was born- and he was quite vigorous and healthy. Should I assume the selenium levels in kelp helped avert white muscle disease? I don't know if our part of Missouri is selenium deficient or not, but our first ewe gave birth to dead preemie twins before I gave the kelp free choice, and the second ewe gave birth to a full term healthy ram lamb after eating kelp for a couple of weeks.

    We are far from any ocean, so bringing in kelp is rather expensive. Does anyone have any idea if it's really necessary or not? I'm assuming it's providing something they are lacking since they gobble it up so well- but am I doing overkill on the vitamins and minerals?

    My cows didn't like the stuff. The sheep do. It's weird.
     
  2. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    My goats go crazy for it too. Don't know if it helps with selenium or not though.
     

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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  4. RiverPines

    RiverPines Well-Known Member

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    Why not just buy selenium salt?
    Sheep like it and its loose so easy to eat and the sheep eat what they need.
    I use it and its cheap. 3 bucks for a 50 pound bag at the local farm store.
    I never have had any probs with white muscle in sheep or goats.
     
  5. Maria

    Maria Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Bearfootfarm! My particular county is low in selenium at 0.21 ppm.

    I've got sheep minerals out for them, RiverPines, but I'm not sure how much of what is in it. Given the choice between kelp and sheep minerals, though, the sheep vastly prefer the kelp.
     
  6. RiverPines

    RiverPines Well-Known Member

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    I use sheep minerals to and goat minerals for the goats.
    Selenium salt is separate so they can always get some if they need that extra selenium.