Why is Selenium so important.
The trace element selenium (Se) occurs only in low concentrations in soils and forage plants. Selenium is of great importance for optimal animal health and performance of cattle. It is strongly suggested to supplement with organic selenium where animals are lacking. We have been supplementing with selenium for about 10 years and have seen a noticeable improvement, especially in the incidence of pink eye. It’s just part of our health protocols now.
Selenium helps with stressful times.
Mineral supplementation is becoming quite common among beef breeders today. As we become more in tune with our soils and what they are lacking, supplementation of stock seems to be becoming the norm. Young cattle have to endure many stressful times before they reach maturity such as weaning, trucking, new environments etc. so they require good strong immune systems. Stress runs high and feed intake can be depressed during these times so they will be missing out on vital trace minerals including selenium and this will compromise immune function and cause sickness.
Selenium and Vitamin E work together.
The trace element selenium works with vitamin E to protect tissues against oxidation and the breakdown of cell membranes. The selenium requirements of stock are related to the vitamin E content of the diet. For diets low in vitamin E the requirements for selenium are increased, and vice versa. Supplemental vitamin E is required in all rations that contain dry hay and silage. Vitamin levels in any stored feed decreases with time. The fermentation process involved with making silage destroys most of the vitamins. Fresh growing forages have adequate amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E helps to maintain the bright pink or red color and the taste of meat which improves customer acceptance of meat off the shelf. When animals are fed high levels of vitamin E prior to slaughter, it improves the shelf life of the meat up to two days.
A deficiency in selenium and compromised immunity is associated in calves with muscular dystrophy, stillbirths, and weakness, and in cows with mastitis, metritis, and retained placenta.
Lack of selenium in cows is mostly widely recognised as stillbirths, White Muscle Disease, ill-thrift, mastitis, retained placenta and infertility. In young animals, selenium deficiency may be a cause of muscular dystrophy and ill-thrift. A lack of selenium can cause poor reproductive performance and an extended calving period in cows. ‘‘White Muscle Disease’’, or nutritional myopathy, mainly affects young, growing calves, most commonly at 2-4 months of age but can occur in younger and older animals. It is usually the shoulder, gluteal or hamstring regions that are affected so you will find calves sitting up but unable to stand. They may appear alert and bright enough and may have an increased heart rate. If the heart muscle or lungs are affected, then death can occur very suddenly.
Oral drenching with selenium salts can provide adequate supplementation for one to three months. Selenium can also be given by injection, with slow-release formulations providing up to 12 months’ supply from a single shot. Se can also be given in a rumen bolus or applied to pasture in combination with other trace elements.
**Excessive dietary selenium can also be toxic and can be associated with abortion.
There are many ways to supplement. Here are just a few.
Benefits for beef.
In finishing cattle in feedlots inadequate Se negatively affects meat quality, meat colour, and shelf life. Providing a highly available source of Se to finishing cattle can have a positive effect on growth performance, immune function, and antioxidant status. Supplementing increases antibodies and reduces the incidence of bovine respiratory disease, morbidity, and mortality in feedlots. Providing a highly bioavailable source of selenium during the finishing period is a method to improve meat tenderness, shelf life and colour. Increased selenium content in the meat is also valuable in providing more nutritional value to consumers.
While we are talking minerals……..
This is our recipe for our general mineral lick.
(Pictured at top of this post)
Calcium- dolomite 5kg
Prilled Sulphur 5kg
Magnesium Sulphate 2.5kg
We offer it to every mob of cows, bulls and young cattle we run.
We figure what they don’t utilise within their systems goes onto the pastures as organic fertiliser. A win/win.
*overdosing on copper is dangerous
A mob of 100 cows can go through this amount in 14 days. This varies quite a bit as requirements dictate.
For any questions, please don’t hesitate to CONTACT US.
Info about Selovin LA