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May need to restrict feeding of Sericea lespedeza

Sericea lespedeza (SL; Lespedeza cuneata) is an important plant in the southeastern US that aids in the control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) and coccidiosis, and to reduce methane production in ruminant livestock. Extended feeding of SL has led to slower growth in lambs and kids. It was hypothesized that this may be related to changes in trace minerals bioavailability.

A reduction in trace mineral status could influence growth rate of lambs and kids, possibly leading to other metabolic issues. It is suggested to supplement or graze SL for no more than six to eight weeks, which may occur during the greatest parasite challenges (around the time of weaning or during stress) or as needed for other mitigation strategies, or monitor serum trace mineral status on a portion of the animals being fed.

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