Trial comparing High Trace mineral bolus for weight gain in cattle
22 January 2021
A study on the High Trace mineral bolus
4 minute read
The importance of weight gain in cattle means they can be finished earlier, reducing the need for extra winter feed to finish cattle.
An evaluation that took place in spring/summer 2018/19 involved:
- Dosing R2 steers with a Resco High Trace bolus
- Comparing this with a competitor mineral bolus and copper capsule on the live-weight gain
- Animals grazed on spring and early summer pasture
The trial concluded that the Resco High Trace bolus group improved the daily live-weight gain on average by 1.045 kg/day and the competitor combination improved the daily live-weight gain on average by 0.99 kg/day over the 177 days of the study.
The total weight gain averages were:
- Control group: 163.13 kg
- Competitor group: 175.22 kg (+12.09kg or +7.4 percent on control)
- Resco High Trace group: 185.05 kg (+21.92 kg or +13.4 percent on control, +9.83 kg or +5,6 percent on competitor group)
The soils in this trial (predominately peat) contained high levels of molybdenum and iron plus the water reticulation system contained high levels of manganese. All of these elements are regarded as antagonists against copper and selenium so any supplementation is required to be at levels that can overcome antagonism but also ensure the animal has adequate supplies for growth.
Deficiencies of these trace minerals may not lead to clinical disease but may manifest in the inability of animals to meet growth rate targets. Equally, supplementation of these trace minerals may not improve growth or maintain health unless the basic nutritional grassland feed demands are met, and the animals’ dry-matter-intake is not restricted.
The Resco High Trace bolus relies on leaching technology to slowly deliver highly bio-available minerals to the rumen, at consistent daily amounts including cobalt, copper, zinc, selenium, and iodine – these play an important role in the animal reaching optimum condition leading into winter and mating (iodine is important for fertility).
The competitor capsule is a copper oxide wire capsule supplying copper needles. The competitor bolus delivers selenium, cobalt, and iodine. All claim a 5-6 month delivery period. The benefit of these technologies is that the trace minerals are released in combination and in a soluble form the animal can immediately utilize.
See below for the starting and final live-weight, with average daily gain, of cattle dosed with either Resco High Trace or competitor bolus compared to non-treated controls.
The label dose recommendation for Resco High Trace is one bolus to cattle weighing 250 kg and over. The competitor dose is one bolus to cattle weighing between 250-450 kg. The upper weight limit was reached at 177 days of trial completion so a single bolus should keep up with trace mineral demand.
The Resco High Trace bolus and the competitor capsule had a positive effect on serum copper concentrations despite the animals grazing on highly antagonistic peat soils. Serum levels lifted from a low-level average of 9.7 umol/L to maintain a steady level of 9.62 umol/L at the end of the weighing trial. This represented a period of high demand and high growth rates due to the high-quality pasture in the diet. This result suggests that an increase in copper supplementation rate was warranted when grazed on peat soils.
As a result, the bolus-treated cattle can be finished earlier, providing the farmer with management options to maximise schedule variations and reduce the need for extra winter feed.
Article supplied to The Farmlander May 2020 by Animal Health Direct. Data supplied by the late Dr. John Southworth B.V.Sc.-Agvet NZ Ltd.
Resco High Trace mineral bolus
Our trace mineral bolus High Trace is a slow-release cattle supplement designed to prevent a trace mineral deficiency in cattle and improve the overall well-being of the cows. High Trace can be used for cows over 250 kg.