The importance of trace elements

Trace element supplementation in the modern dairy herd is vitally important.

There are times when the requirements for trace elements rapidly increase even in herds that have an adequate trace element profile. These times are around calving and during the period leading into mating.

Monitoring the trace element status of your herd is part of routine maintenance; testing of cattle that are being culled to slaughter is one method or we can undertake blood testing and/or liver biopsies.

In times when we are all watching how we spend our money, not testing is a false economy. With most herds routinely supplementing with trace elements in their feed or via their water systems, testing ensures this spend is giving the desired results.

Even with adequate trace element levels there is solid science supporting the supplementation of dairy herds with Multmin® two to four weeks prior to calving and again four weeks prior to mating.

Multmin® provides an injectable combination of selenium, manganese, zinc and copper. The formulation of this product ensures rapid uptake into both the bloodstream and liver.

The pre-calving supplementation provides a reduction in both clinical and sub-clinical mastitis and the pre-mating injection lifts conception rates and lowers early pregnancy losses.

But supplementation with Multmin® is not a silver bullet to not managing your herd well over the transition period or during mating and we are happy to advise.

As for your herd and heifers, trace element supplementation in calves will also show results.

During pregnancy trace elements are transferred to the calf across the placenta and once born, via milk. These trace minerals play an important role calf viability (less deaths) and their immunity to infection.

Repeated NZ studies where Multimn® was injected into calves within 24 to 48 hours of birth, reduced calf disease and calf deaths by 50%. Again, this tool is not a panacea for poor calf rearing/calf management, and we are happy to advise.

For calves also consider using Multmin® at weaning.