Phosphate Supplementation In The Green Season

Posted by on 2 March 2022 and filed under

Supplementary feeding to cattle and sheep can increase your turnover. However, when used incorrectly advantages can be diminished. It is therefore important to make sure which type of supplementation is best suited for the current season, your particular veld and your animals.

Why phosphorous/phosphate supplementation in the green season?

In the summer months, also called the green season in Namibia, the most common lick used by small stock and large stock farmers is a salt and phosphate lick. Phosphate is a source of phosphorous. Research has shown that with green pastures in Namibia, the first limiting nutrient is phosphorous. Phosphate supplementation is known to increase calving percentages and milk production, which subsequently leads to an increase in pre-weaning growth. It also allows the animal to reach its genetic potential regarding weight gain. A deficiency in phosphorous can also lead to a decrease in voluntary feed intake.

Phosphates also play an important role in the energy metabolism of the animal. Further, phosphorous, together with calcium is needed for the bone formation of the ruminant animal but it must be supplemented in the correct ratio, taking into account that Namibian pastures and water are relatively high in calcium. A deficiency in both phosphorous and calcium may lead to osteoporosis and rickets.

Low phosphorous levels in the diet can lead to poor fertility, suboptimal growth in young animals and low live weight gains in adult animals. In some cases, low phosphorus intake can also be the cause of pica (animals start eating ground or bones).

Sheep inherently have a lower requirement for phosphorous than cattle as they have evolved to select the growing parts of plants that are higher in phosphorous.

Feedmaster’s Futterfos P14 and Futterfos P 6 is specially formulated to meet ruminants’ vitamin and mineral requirements in the green season on Namibian pastures. As most of Namibia’s soils (especially in the Sandveld area) are high in calcium, which suppresses the absorption of phosphorous, more suited calcium to phosphorous ratio of 1:1 is used. Further, this product contains a mineral and vitamin premix best suited for ruminant animal requirements. The micro-mineral specification of this product is substantially higher than the traditional levels usually required by Act 36.

40kg of Futterfos is mixed with 50kg of salt to obtain a P 6 lick. The salt component controls the intake of the lick. Alternatively, Futterfos P6 can be used which is already mixed. For cattle, the intake is around 100-300 g per day, and for sheep it is between 17-50 g per day, depending on animal age, animal frame size and veld type.

Futterfos is absolutely urea free and thus safe for use during the rainy season. New changes were made with the inclusion of a highly soluble source of phosphate with excellent bioavailability and Futterfos therefore no longer contains any non-protein nitrogen (NPN) sources. It therefore can also be used in an organic farming setup.

The nutritionists at Feedmaster are happy to assist you and custom fit the right supplemental feed for your animals and circumstances. Please feel free to give us a call under:

Feedmaster Tel. 061 290 1300

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