Oorsig/Review Ewe and lamb nutrition Trace minerals essential to ewe and lamb performance Trace minerals play a vital role in animal nutrition, impacting numerous metabolic functions, including growth and development, reproduction, and immunity. In addition, research shows that the negative effects of stress are reduced when animals receive proper trace mineral nutrition. Following is an overview of the role zinc plays in ewe and lamb nutrition. 30 65.4 Zn Zinc Skeletal growth/development Î Protein synthesis for bone growth and repair. Muscle growth/development Î Protein synthesis to support muscle growth and development. Wool Î Epithelial tissue integrity to support wool growth and strength. Immunity Î Antioxidant activity to protect cellular tissue. Î Immune response. Reproduction Î Reproductive tract tissue integrity. Î Improved conception rates. Hoof condition Î Synthesis and support of quality hoof growth and repair. 26 Research-proven performance Feeding zinc from Zinpro Performance Minerals® (ZPM) to ewes offers the following research-proven benefits: Î decreased foot lesions; Î increased lamb weight gain; Î increased dry matter intake; and Î improved colostrum quality. In addition, the trace mineral status of the ewe has been shown to be important for foetal development, and subsequent performance of the ewe and her progeny following lambing.