How important is phosphate supplementation in livestock, really?
Phosphate supplementation in livestock is essential in maintaining optimal production and reproduction in both your cattle and sheep, and especially when they are grazing on green pastures.
Phosphate is involved in many of the physiological functions in an animal’s body and a deficiency of this nutrient results in:
- Decreased feed intake
- Suppressed appetite
- Decrease in milk production after cow has calved
- Lower muscle mass in weaner calves
- Decreased reproduction of the herd
- Less weaner calves will be produced
When to supplement
Phosphate supplementation will play a vital role during specific par
ts of the year. When your flock or herd is grazing on green summer pastures you will need to supplement higher amounts as the grass is easily digestible, the protein and energy contents are high, but the phosphate may be present in limited supply.
Sheep and cattle will have slight differences in the amount of phosphate that they require.
Phosphate is better recycled in the saliva of sheep and they graze more selectively with better quality pasture and will, therefore, have a lower phosphate requirement.
- Dry sheep will need 1 – 2g of phosphate per day.
- Late gestational or lactating ewes will need 3 – 4g phosphate per day.
- On green summer pastures, a dry cow will need 6g of phosphate per day.
- Heifers that are busy growing will need 9g of phosphate per day.
- A late gestational or lactating cow will need 12g of phosphate per day.
Bioavailability of different phosphate sources
The bioavailability and absorption of phosphate sources will differ, with the absorbability of phosphate in green pastures around 60%, and around 70% in grain.
With commercially manufactured dicalcium phosphate and monocalcium phosphate, the amounts can easily vary between 80-90%.
Our Molatek supplements
The Molatek Foslick is a perfectly formulated, ideally balanced phosphate lick that provides trace minerals and phosphate to ruminants. This lick supplement contains 5% phosphate and seven essential trace minerals. This highly palatable lick stimulates ovulation rate for higher calving and lambing percentages and improves energy utilisation from pastures.
Our Molatek Fosblock is a weather-resistant block that is designed to supplement phosphate and trace minerals in ruminants that are grazing on green pastures. It is easily absorbed by sheep and cattle and ensures high animal performance.
Both the Molatek Foslick and Molatek Fosblock improve animal performance and ensure an increased profitability by providing the correct level of phosphate supplementation in livestock.