14 November 1997

Good effect of trace elements

CHELATED trace elements can help control cell counts, fertility and lameness, says David Elwood of HVS Animal Health, Eire.

Speaking at a Mole Valley Farmers conference, in Somerset, he said chelated or proteinated minerals provided trace elements that were more available to the cow in the small intestine, he added.

Zinc, copper and manganese proteinates could improve conception rates, saving an average of 0.4 services a cow according to some US studies, said Mr Elwood.

By reducing services a cow by 0.4, the saving in semen, costed at £20 a straw, was worth £8 a cow. That would more than repay the investment in the minerals at £4 a cow a year. But improved conception rates would also reduce the calving interval by 20 days, saving about £60 a cow, he claimed.

Beneficial effects had also been found on somatic cell counts and hoof condition.n