It is hard to believe looking out over dry paddocks now but soon it will get wet. Grass will be green and we will start getting a few “hoppy”/ lame sheep. Not only are these lame sheep frustrating to move but their lack of willingness to walk limits their pasture intake.
A drop in dry matter intake (DMI) will limit their ability to put on weight, grow a foetus, produce milk and even grow wool.
The hoof is made from horn formed from keratin, similar to human hair and finger nails. Zinc is a major component in forming strong health hoof horn. Like building a house there is no point having strong bricks if the mortar in no good, this is where biotin come in.
Biotin helps to strengthen the join between the keratin blocks, not only forming a strong bond but one that is more water repellent. Also like building a house, growing hoof horn doesn’t happen overnight. It will take months to grow and strengthen hooves, so if we want strong water repellent hooves for our sheep during winter we need to start feeding them a supplement with extra zinc and biotin now.
To download a copy of this article, please click the link below…