Coastal Cattle – Supplementing Trace Elements

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One of our clients recently wrote a blog about using Beachport Liquid Minerals. Read about their experience below.

Supplements are another thing I’ve just pushed aside as it all seemed complex and expensive.

Recently I’d begun to wonder if I had a deficiency in my herd, as some of the symptoms I was worried about hadn’t cleared up with drenching.

While my cattle generally looked pretty good, I was seeing some scouring which I was always told was caused by worms. I drench frequently and regularly, as well as switch types of drench to avoid worm resistance. I was also noticing a red tinge in the cattle’s hair, bad enough that I was starting to question the lineage of my bull. As well as that I was seeing plenty of winter coat that wasn’t shedding in Summer, making the cattle look ratty.

A bit of research on the net turned up that the mid-north coast is well known for deficiencies of copper, selenium and cobalt, and that trace element supplementation is highly advisable here. I’ve used lick blocks and Multimin shots in the past with no real noticeable effects. Both were very expensive.

I stumbled upon this stuff and decided to give it a go:

I liked the dispenser on the bottle idea and the fact that this supplement was made of seaweed and apparently contained all sorts of amino acids etc. I also looked at the “bullets” you put down their throats once a year for minerals, but the liquid mineral website caught me with all their blurb and testimonials.

It’s pretty simple (and all on their website), but basically you just measure it out according to the number/size of cattle in your herd, pour it into the dispenser bottle and put the bottle in the trough. It slowly releases the nutrient over 4 days, after which you pour the rest in the trough and put the dispenser away. This needs to be done every 6 weeks.

I’m having no trouble with the cattle drinking it, in fact, they seem to like it, but this could be because I clean the trough and refill it before I add the treatment or just because I’ve made them curious by putting a new blue toy in the trough.

In the testimonials, there were a couple of mentions of a quick reaction by the cattle to this supplement, and they certainly weren’t joking.

Within 3-5 days I began to notice the cattle’s coats really cleaning up and all the dags of leftover winter coat falling out. 7 weeks later and I’m looking at almost different animals, with absolutely sleek, black, almost wet looking coats and shiny moist black noses. While I’m on very rich green feed right now, I’ve seen a noticeable reduction in scours and the movements I’m seeing them do now don’t seem as runny at all.

One big thing to watch for is that there must be no other water available to the entire herd other than the treated water, otherwise, you can’t be sure they’ve all received their correct dosage.

All in all, I’m giving this product a very big thumbs up for my herd at least, and at $8/head/year I’m quite happy with the cost vs improvement. I’ll cut back to drenching the cows twice a year, and the heifers/calves 3 times a year and that alone will cover the cost of this supplement.

More than one testimonial mentioned greatly improved fertility and heifers coming back into cycle much more easily after calving, and if true that where this stuff will pay for itself and more.

I’m fairly stingy and sceptical, but I certainly see a result with this product and don’t have that feeling of being sold snake oil.

Johnson Partnership
Read the original and more at Coastal Cattle