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Some years ago, we ran multiple trace element trials with different age groups of cattle which showed issues with cobalt, selenium, copper and manganese. We have trialed many individual products over time, but since discovering Multimin Injection around 5 years ago, it has become a blue-chip part of our animal health program for all age groups to assist with their performance at high demand times. We have seen improvement in fertility, calving percentage and unquestionably the general appearance of the cattle has also improved.
Probably the most important part of us becoming involved with the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge is to prove what we have seen and put that in data form.
With the guidance of Multimin mentor Dr Colin Trengove from Pro Ag Consulting, we decided to do a trial on some of our calves to see what effect Multimin may have on their general health including worm count from treatment at marking, weaning and 3 months post weaning. We also collected data on weight gain throughout the same period.
The Multimin Performance Ready Challenge has offered a great opportunity for me as a mentor to work closely with a producer to carefully evaluate the benefit of using Multimin trace mineral injections to address trace element deficiencies in a controlled farm study. This avoids the mystery that often arises from inappropriate use of products in poorly designed farm-based observations.
Adequate nutrition including trace minerals are integral to the development of muscle, cartilage and bone during the growth phase in calves. There are numerous studies that confirm the critical role that trace minerals play in immunity for growing calves. Collectively, they show that the immune system can be enhanced through the use of trace mineral supplements such as Multimin, leading to better disease protection and additional weight gain.
We treated 50% of our calves with Multimin at marking and weaning and again 3 months post weaning. The other 50% were left untreated and used as a control mob. When comparing the weights of the treated and untreated steers in August 2018 and again in January 2019, and we found a modest weight gain advantage in the treated steers. Although weight gain increases are not always attributed to trace minerals, it is possible that Multimin helped improved the immune function of the steers, and hence provided them with a better opportunity to grow.
Unquestionably, the general appearance of the treated calves has also improved, and it’s clear from this result that Multimin’s impact on immunity gave our steers an additional means to grow and gain weight.
Outside of the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge we ran a second test focusing on the effects of Multimin on fertility. In this trial, heifers with their first calf at foot were treated with Multimin and Webster’s 5 in 1 B12 in early May (pre-calving) and then treated with Multimin again in August at calf marking (pre-joining). Our bulls were also treated with Multimin before joining. The heifers were joined over an eight-week period, and it was recorded that out of the 127 head joined, 122 fell pregnant. This meant a 96% conception rate, which is phenomenal. Using Multimin in conjunction with Websters 5 in 1 B12 has proved highly effective.
Generally, it’s quite challenging to get our heifers rearing their first calf back into calf, so I’m very happy with these results.