Minerals, trace elements and vitamins are essential for cow health, but research has shown that many UK dairy cows are oversupplied with minerals.
ForFarmers, on the back of work carried out at its Nutritional Innovation Center in the Netherlands, as well as work with Trouw GB and data gathered from forage analysis, has revisited the mineral offering in its Minline range.
“Correctly balanced minerals can lead to improved performance, cow health and fertility,” says ForFarmers’ Bruce Forshaw. “But oversupplying dairy cows with minerals will increase costs, impact on performance and, in some cases, cause health issues.”
Copper is required for good fertility and haemoglobin production but, if oversupplied, it is stored by the cow in the liver and can eventually cause copper toxicity. Phosphorus is essential for energy metabolism and fertility, but supply too much and the cow excretes it in dung. This can then leach into waterways and cause algae bloom.
“ForFarmers’ account managers are trained to assess the complete mineral input on farm by collecting information from forage analysis, water analysis, feed content and via boluses or supplementation from the vet,” says Mr Forshaw. “They can then develop a mineral plan that works for each individual herd, meeting the cows’ needs but not oversupplying minerals.
“We estimate that about 80% of the time we will have minerals in the Minline range that will suit the herd,” he adds. “For the remaining 20% we can develop a bespoke product to suit their exact needs.”
ForFarmers has also increased the amount of vitamins A, D and E in its minerals, to help boost the cow’s immune system. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that works in conjunction with selenium, which is part of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), an enzyme that reduces oxidative stress at a cellular level.
“We’ve also concentrated minerals in the feed, making feed calculations simpler. The typical feed rate for in-feed mineral is 150g, while the new range is designed to meet requirement at 100g per head.”
The Minline range includes products for beef cattle, dairy and sheep. For more information speak to your local ForFarmers' account manager about your herd’s mineral requirements,contact us here or if you would like a quote please click on the button below.
Supplying the correct amount of vitamins, minerals and trace elements is important for optimum production, health and fertility. Deficiency or excess of minerals can reduce performance and seriously affect animal health.