Sheep and goats are extremely sensitive to insufficient or excessive amounts of minerals. The various breeds need different minerals and, besides this, the amounts and proportions differ strongly per breed.
In particular copper, cobalt and selenium contribute to good health in sheep. Ewes also require extra minerals, such as vitamin E and selenium for fertility. Sheep use copper for the formation of red blood cells, blood vessels, pigment, fleece/fur/coat, and bones. Texel sheep and Texel cross-breeds require only very little copper, and too much can easily lead to poisoning. Some English sheep breeds and milk sheep, as well as goats, actually require a bit more copper.
Cobalt is converted in the sheep rumen into cobalamin, the ‘predecessor’ of vitamin B12. This vitamin is necessary for quick-growing tissues. One usually sees, therefore, especially with lambs, a retardation in growth, if there’s a deficit of cobalt.
And finally, selenium, which is not only good for fertility, but is also important for building up resistance and udder health.
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