News & Advice

Minerals and Trace Elements

Apr 5, 2019 | Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare, Minerals

Ali Cullum, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Morrinsville

As you dry cows off, don’t forget that the Facial Eczema season is still very much with us. Spore counts are rising due to the continuing warm temperatures, small amounts of rain and large amounts of dead grass in the swards. Cows need to be protected with zinc and will still require it once they are dry. Historically we have seen serious facial eczema outbreaks in dry cows whose zinc supplementation has been reduced or stopped. If you wish to receive our weekly spore count map visit  and sign up to our spore counts emailing list. 
Also remember that diets with high amounts of maize silage and other supplements may be short of calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous and other elements important for lactation and maintenance. They need balanced appropriately. Ask your veterinarian who will be happy to advise you. 
Going into the autumn it is time to think about trace elements such as copper, cobalt and selenium. These are all important for general health, growth and reproduction. Animals with low levels of these elements do not utilise their food properly and will give you a poor return for your winter feeding programme. Blood samples and liver biopsies enable an assessment of the herd mineral and trace element status, then you and your veterinarian can draw up a mineral supplementation plan for your animals. 

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