News & Advice

Facial Eczema: How do I check that my zinc plan is working?

Feb 2, 2023 | Dairy, Dry stock, Facial eczema, Sheep

Zinc levels can be assessed from a sample population of your herd (or flock) to ascertain whether they are receiving enough zinc to achieve protection from facial eczema spores. There are several different mediums that can be tested to assess zinc levels:

• Blood (most common)
• Faeces
• Bulk milk (Fonterra clients only- see below for more details)

A discussion with your vet should take place to determine the right method for your animals. It is best to check your plan once you have been supplementing zinc at full rates for at least one week.


Bulk milk zinc testing

If you are a Fonterra supplier, the bulk milk zinc test may be a useful initial screening tool. It can provide you with an idea as to whether you are achieving adequate or inadequate supplementation across the milking herd. As with the other tests this is best utilized once you have been applying full rates for at least 7 days.  The test has limitations so once you have your result a discussion should be had with your vet before considering any changes to your plan. This test does not provide results at an individual level and further testing (eg. bloodwork) may be required.

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