Two decades after they were first developed, the Tracesure® range of trace element boluses remain the only boluses on the market that utilise leaching technology to deliver a daily dose of trace elements to livestock.
This technology, developed by experienced veterinarian and Animax Ltd founder, Les Porter, is fundamental to trace element supplementation. It is proven technology that allows cattle and sheep to get the four key trace elements essential for productivity and performance in accurate, consistent and regular doses over a period of between 5 and 6 months.
Low levels of selenium, iodine, cobalt or copper can have serious effects on ruminant health and production. Grasses and cereals are frequently low in one or more so the standard practice is to cover them all.
Supplementation should be controlled at levels that will correct seriously inadequate dietary intake while not giving rise to toxicity. This means individual administration in a slow release form.
The idea that animals will only take the trace elements they need in free access products has been disproved many times. In these products, levels of potentially toxic materials are minimised to avoid poisoning the greedy feeders but this means that the rest of the herd or flock don’t get sufficient quantities.
The feed industry provides an interesting parallel. With low levels of key trace elements and other less important micronutrients common in bulk feeds, particularly in grain, it is standard practice for a micronutrient package to be included with virtually all manufactured feed.
This makes sense since it only takes one key element to be at a low level for animal performance to be impaired. However, if livestock are unable to consume enough dry matter, their ability to consume sufficient trace elements become limited.
Bolusing allows the livestock producer to achieve a similar coverage of selenium, cobalt, copper and iodine without having to rely on dry matter intake; animals are supplemented regardless of their ability to consume forage.
For beef cattle and dairy cows, Tracesure® Cu/I provides accurate and reliable supplementation. For calves that are weaned and fully ruminating, Tracesure® Calf Triplepack boluses supply three months worth of selenium, cobalt, iodine and copper. The Tracesure® traffic lights system for sheep provides flocks with six months worth of selenium, cobalt, iodine and copper but allows copper to be omitted for breeds susceptible to copper poisoning.