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How to determine if your livestock require feed supplements

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article image It can be difficult to determine what feed supplements livestock require

According to an article on the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website, "as many as 14 different minerals are needed by ruminants to maintain sound health and production."

How do you determine whether your livestock are receiving a sufficient amount of the vitamins and minerals  they require for optimum health?

This is a somewhat complicated question, as different animals require different quantities of these vitamins and minerals.  

There are, however, three key things that one can look at to help them determine whether the need for feed supplements is warranted.

Paddock composition

In most cases livestock obtain the majority of their vitamin and mineral requirements from the pasture or paddock in which they are situated.

In those cases where a pasture of paddock is lacking in such vitamins and minerals due to factors such as poor soil quality or extreme climatic conditions such as drought, the need for feed supplements and additives may be quite high.


Young livestock will require larger quantities of vitamins and minerals as they grow and develop quite rapidly, as do lactating animals as much of their daily vitamin and mineral intake is passed on to their young.

Furthermore, “adult or mature animals may have sufficient reserves of many vitamins and minerals, allowing them to tolerate periods of deficiency,” explains the DPI, so they may require only require feed supplements in small quantities.


Different breeds have different vitamin and mineral requirements. For example, the DPP explains “Merinos are…more susceptible to iodine and selenium deficiencies” which means they may require feed supplements that specifically contain these minerals.

Alltech Australia supplies a range of feed supplements for livestock, including NuPro, which is designed specifically for young animals.

As previously mentioned, young animals require vitamins and minerals in large quantities as they grow at such a rapid rate. These highly concentrated feed supplements help to ensure that young animals develop into strong, healthy adults.

The feed supplements contain high levels on nucleotides, glutamic acid, inositol, amino acids and peptides.

It is however, recommended, that the feed supplements be mixed into the feed or premix rather than top dressed.

The company offers a range of other feed supplements including:

  • The live yeast culture based Yea-Sacc 1036
  • A wide range of organic trace minerals 
  • Bio-Mos

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