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Fairtrace - A Dietetic Feed For Cattle To Supplement Key Trace Elements For Up To Six Months

12 years ago

21st February, 2012 23h39

John Cook’s new work with Cumbrian dairy herds has brought a sharp financial focus to the whole subject of supplementation. John is a cattle veterinarian closely involved with the dairy industry for many years, and is currently Technical Director of Genus ABS. He conducted a series of bolusing trials, using a bolus containing (iodine 3400mg; cobalt 500mg; selenium 500mg) in 4 herds, totalling 425 cows. The work extended over 4 years and was the subject of rigorous statistical scrutiny. Retention of foetal membranes was reduced by approximately 70% overall. In the one herd where full individual milk yield data were available, comparison of 62 treated versus 76 control animals revealed a 327kg advantage in milk yield per lactation, for the bolused animals. Most of this benefit was obtained during the first 100 days of lactation. At present milk prices, this adds up to a 10 to 1 financial benefit from a procedure costing less than £8. John accepts that these data do not differentiate between effects on post natal health and direct effects on production, nor do they link particular effects to the individual elements. The simple conclusion remains that strong economic benefits were shown from a straightforward procedure, pointing the way towards practical improvement in herd health and production. Fairtrace is available from Downland franchisees, operating throughout the UK.

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