Bolus – your practical problem prevention option
“Getting the basics of good animal husbandry right by using a bolus to ensure sheep and cattle always have sufficient levels of key trace elements copper, iodine, selenium and cobalt makes sound business sense.”
The view of Neill Acheson, NI representative for Animax, the specialist manufacturer of trace element boluses.
“Nowadays the emphasis is on preventing costly livestock health problems by drawing up an animal health plan with your farm vet, providing the correct diet and general good husbandry.
“That must include stock having adequate copper, iodine, selenium and cobalt available year-round. A major deficiency in any of these trace elements leads to poor thrive and greater susceptibility to a whole range of costly health challenges.
“Even sub clinical deficiencies mean that animals do not perform optimally, and young stock take longer to mature.”
Neill Acheson also points to evidence, from a variety of trials, that vaccines work better in livestock with adequate levels of trace elements. Particularly the big four, copper, iodine, selenium and cobalt.
Farmers are also reminded that high quality grass, though full of protein and energy, does not always provide a complete diet especially at a time of rapid sward growth. Indeed, Neill notes that grass can be up to 50% deficient in critical trace elements.
“Thus, diets have to be balanced to protect animal performance and farm margins. There are several options including specialised mineral rations, mineral buckets and liquid drenches.
“However, long acting boluses from Animax have many practical advantages as regards saving time and money on a busy family farm. Giving stock boluses is a once a season task, for example at turnout and housing as they last up to six months.
“That ticks a lot of boxes as regards sheer convenience, time saved, and peace of mind gained.
“I would not suggest everyone use a bolus, but as an industry we are moving ever more to preventing problems. So, boluses are an excellent example of how livestock performance and hence your bottom line can be simply protected.”