12 January 1996

Plenty of copper – but all locked up

LOW copper availability was discovered as the cause of poor immunity in calves and poor cow fertility by farmers weeklys Farmer Focus writer Geoff Vickers, Peckforton Home Farm, Tarporley, Cheshire.

"Calves were being born with high temperatures and low immunity and we wanted to improve general herd health and cow fertility," says Mr Vickers. "It was found that the forage had good copper levels but the mineral was being locked up by molybdenum."

In the short term to achieve a quick response, dry cows were given copper injections to provide three months cover. The policy improved calf immunity.

Now for simplicity, rather than using infections, the cow concentrate is high in copper and copper is also added to drinking water supplies using Aquatrace. This provides the animal with a balance of minerals.

Two weeks after starting this treatment cows were showing better signs of bulling and now more seem to be holding to service, claims Mr Vickers. &#42

Cows at Peckforton Home Farm are showing better signs of bulling now that their ration contains a high copper concentrate, says farm manager Geoff Vickers. Copper is also added to the cows drinking water supplies.