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Cattle producers are reaping the benefits of improved herd fertility, increased weight gain and fewer stock losses thanks to strategic supplementation with trace minerals and vitamin B12.

Marks-Min products optimise trace mineral and vitamin B12 levels in a single dose, delivering vital time and labour savings on farms.

Ballarat cattle producer, David Wells, now sells heavier steers and heifers after optimising trace minerals and B12 with Marks-Min. A total of 280 animals benefited from receiving four trace minerals and B12 in one dose.

“We weighed them at marking and recorded their weights over nine months,” David said.

“The heifers increased by 11.6 kilos over that time period and the steers increased 8.6 kilos compared to untreated cattle.”

David sells all his steers and excess heifers as weaners, so maximising weight gain improves his bottom line.

“Getting the growth rates up quicker and finishing them quicker reduces our costs and increases our production income,” he said.

Tom Baker, Woonallee Simmentals and Baker Group Director at Furner, uses Marks-Min to save time without compromising animal health outcomes.

“Combining trace minerals with B12 in a single dose allowed us to reduce an injection while getting the same benefit,” he said.

“We were giving multiple needles for other treatments, so reducing an injection means we can save on labour and time, making it user friendly and cost effective.”

Tom said supplementing his cattle’s copper and zinc was crucial because the region’s soil is deficient in these trace minerals. And he’s noted the improvement in cattle health.

“We have noticed the cleaning-up of the coat and the orange tip in the coat of our black and red cattle darkening,” he said.

“With this overall improved calf health, we are seeing less respiratory issues and less scours.”

Getting the most out of feeder cattle in the cold Mount Gambier winter has been a priority for Benara Pastoral Company Farm Manager, Brad Creek.

He uses Marks-Min to boost minerals important for the immune system of these animals to maximise per hectare production – even when there’s limited pasture available. It’s the same situation for the company’s breeders. Treating cows once a year, pre-joining, has improved pregnancy rates and enabled the females to thrive – regardless of seasonal conditions.

“We are finding our preg-test numbers have been up since doing a pre-joining treatment,” he said.

“At joining time – early autumn – the feed is short, and the cows are doing it tough, I feel they really get a benefit from the trace minerals.”

Steer calves at Benara Pastoral receive a Marks-Min injection and vitamin A, D and E at their second vaccination and another Marks-Min at weaning. Heifers receive the same treatment and an additional Marks-Min pre-joining. Bulls are treated with Marks-Min 60 days before the beginning of joining.

Boehringer Ingelheim Livestock Technical Services Manager, Dr Gareth Kelly, said an animal’s need for trace minerals and vitamin B12 can be intensified at times of rapid growth, reproduction, or stress – such as feed restriction, transport, or entry into a feedlot.

And in some cases, the trace minerals in soil consumed via direct grazing aren’t enough to optimise productivity, and supplementing through feed or orally isn’t always efficient or accurate. “There’s variation in individual intake, low absorption from the digestive system and competition with other dietary components, limiting the success of a supplementation program,” Gareth said.

“Using injectable mineral supplementation can avoid these variables by being rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and made readily available to support optimal health and production. Minerals not immediately required are stored in the liver and mobilised as required.”

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