Value of Tracesure® highlighted by accidental delay in bolusing cattle
The effectiveness of slow release Tracesure® Cu/I Cattle was brought into focus when a suckler beef producer bolused his herd late. David Jones, who runs a 200-cow spring-calving Stabiliser herd in Ruthin, Wales says this year’s weather conditions brought many challenges which meant the herd was not bolused when it should have been.
“We started to get a few issues with the cows which the vet associated with iodine and selenium shortfalls,” explains David, who has used Tracesure® Cu/I Cattle for many years. Trace elements play a key role in livestock performance. Iodine, selenium, copper and cobalt are the most important for cattle, if they don’t get sufficient levels in their diet, it can lead to poor production.
Before he was introduced to Tracesure®, David supplemented the herd with minerals added to silage, but he couldn’t be certain that every animal was getting what it needed. “It was a challenge because it had to be done every day and if it was windy it tended to blow everywhere. I didn’t know whether the cows were getting the full amount.”
He runs the herd by himself and was keen to find a more efficient means of giving trace elements. “I am always looking to do things better and in a more efficient way, to make life easier. Other farmers recommended Tracesure® Cu/I Cattle,” he recalls.
He noticed the benefits from the beginning. “The animals not only grew well at grass, but they looked better as well. Their coats looked good and as we sell them as store cattle, it all really matters.”
When housed, cows are dry and fed grass silage for five days of the week. The silage is in front of the cattle for an hour, twice a day and, then they are offered straw.
The calving block is 10 weeks, but 80% of the cows usually calve by April. They calve easily and their calves are lively at birth. “It makes life easier,” David admits.
Fertility is key to a profitable business. Every cow is bolused six weeks before calving, covering them for the critical spring period and during the peak of bulling. David handles 400 cattle but regards bolusing as a straightforward job. “I have got a good handling system and the boluses go in very easily.”
He says that when giving the bolus there is an obvious advantage over a drench. “We had tried giving the cattle a vitamin drench but no sooner had we got it into their mouths they were spitting it out”.