Benefits of Slow-release Boluses

IRELAND - Dairy farmers in Donegal, who have experienced health issues in their herds resulting from trace element deficiencies, learned more about the benefits of slow-release boluses at a recent meeting in Ballybofey.
calendar icon 17 December 2010
clock icon 2 minute read
Animax Vet

The meeting, organised by agricultural consultant, Marc McConnell, and attended by around 50 farmers, centred on Allsure boluses produced by Animax Ltd.

Aled Davies, of Animax, answered queries ranging from how the boluses can help with issues associated with retained placentas and poor fertility and their benefits over free access minerals.

Allsure guarantees a slow release of iodine, selenium, cobalt and copper for up to six months.

Mr Davies explained that it is difficult for cows to get enough selenium from free access minerals because only a very small quantity can be added. Recommended levels of selenium - 0.55g mixed with five tonnes of feed - is equal to adding half a sachet of salt from a packet of 'Salt 'n Shake' crisps.

The boluses also ensure that the individual copper needs of cattle are not exceeded. 45g of copper mixed with five-tonnes of feed in a standard mixer wagon is the equivalent of adding a product the size and weight of a medium-size tomato. By delivering it to the cow through boluses it is absorbed slowly over six months and each cow gets what she needs.

Dairy producer David Porter, who was at the meeting, started using Allsure on his spring-calving Holstein herd at Castlefin to combat problems associated with retained cleansings. He bolused 30 cows and of the 22 that had calved so far there had not been a single case of retained cleansings.

"We used to have the vet in the yard five times a week because within four or five days of calving the cows would be very sick. The cows are much healthier since bolusing, I'm delighted with the way it is working," said Mr Porter.

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