Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Biotin improves productivity

In a recent trial conducted in the United Kingdom, pregnant ewes supplemented with biotin had improved productivity. Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin, primarily known for its role in horn hoof formulation. It also has a significant role in energy metabolism.

The trial compared two groups of 200 twin-bearing ewes. One group was fed 5 mg of biotin per day in the minerals. The other group did not receive any biotin. Otherwise the diets were identical. The additional biotin was fed for six weeks pre-lambing and two weeks post-lambing.To assess growth rate, lambs were weighed at birth, at 4 to 6 weeks of age, and again at 10 to 12 weeks of age.

The lambs born from the biotin-supplemented ewes were 8 percent heavier at birth (11.3 vs. 10.5 lbs.). Initially daily weight gain was similar (0.73 lb/d) for both groups, but during the later part of the 10-week trial, the growth rate of the lambs from the supplemented ewes was 11 percent higher (0.88 vs. 0.80 lb./d).

Overall, the lambs from the supplemented ewes were 3.3 lbs. heavier at 10 weeks. In the research trial, biotin supplementation resulted in a 6:1 return on investment.

Read article in Farmers Guardian

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