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Take a look at three benefits of bolusing livestock

Jun 22, 2023Jun 22, 2023


13th August 2023

Micronutrients are essential to the short and long-term function of cattle and sheep. Deliver both trace elements and vitamins to livestock with EnduraBol boluses

Bolusing is the gold standard of micronutrient delivery. EnduraBol boluses from Nettex allow cattle and sheep farmers to provide slow and steady release of both trace elements and vitamins to their stock for up to 240 days depending on the product used.

While only a small amount is required for adequate supplementation, trace elements and vitamins pack a powerful punch in many areas of performance for cattle and sheep. This includes fertility, daily liveweight gain and nervous system function, says Emily Hall, product manager for Nettex, GB supplier of EnduraBol boluses.

“From breeding stock to stores, trace elements and vitamins work together to mitigate the adverse effects of deficiencies and to support body function and immune response,” says Ms Hall.

Due to the small amount required and the way ruminants digest and absorb micronutrients, an effective way of delivery is directly into the rumen for sustained and efficient nutrient absorption.

“In recent years, a number of factors including more frequent extreme weather events and intensifying grazing practices have increased the risk of mineral related disorders and diseases in cattle and sheep,” explains Ms Hall.

Below, she highlights the benefits of micronutrient delivery through bolusing.

There are six essential trace elements most commonly deficient or sub-optimal in ruminant diets: selenium, cobalt, zinc, manganese, iodine and copper. The extensive range of EnduraBol boluses consists of five product options for cattle and two options for sheep; all of which provide the full package of these six essential trace elements, with the option of a non copper version for sheep.

“Fundamentally, ruminants require the same trace elements to support short and long-term function,” explains Ms Hall. “The EnduraBol range allows producers to take a tailored approach to best support stock throughout different points in their lifecycle in different production systems.”

Selenium acts as a natural antioxidant, protecting cells against oxidative stress and the breakdown of cell membranes. Readily transmissible through the placenta and required for brown fat utilisation in newborns, selenium is especially important in the pre-lambing and pre-calving periods.

Other areas of support include immunity, muscle development, placenta detachment post-birth and calf vigour.

The rumen microbes require cobalt for the production of vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential for energy metabolism, rumen function, feed efficiency and growth. Plants are very poor sources of vitamin B12, making production by the rumen microbes the major source of this vitamin for cattle and sheep. Other areas of support include milk production, fertility and red blood cell formation.

Supportive of the enzyme system responsible for hair and hoof development and repair, zinc is essential to coat condition and hoof health. It also improves energy metabolism, aids vitamin absorption and supports fertility.

An essential trace element to support bone structure, manganese deficiency is associated with bone malformation and disease in newborn animals and youngstock. Livestock most at risk are pregnant cattle fed almost solely on a silage over the winter.

Manganese is also essential for multiple enzyme systems, therefore supports fertility, growth rates and the development of reproductive tissues.

Especially important in the pre-calving and pre-lambing periods, iodine aids in foetal growth and development. EnduraBol Pre-Calver and EnduraBol High Iodine have increased rates of iodine inclusion to support cattle during periods of increased requirements.

Iodine also supports the immune system, fertility, hormone production and growth rates.

Copper is essential for multiple different enzyme systems in the body including those involved in energy metabolism, connective tissue development and antioxidant systems. As copper is required for collagen production, which makes up a large proportion of uterine tissue, fertility post-calving and lambing is majorly influenced by the level of copper in the pre-calving and lambing diet.

Whilst sheep can be susceptible to copper toxicity, some areas of the country are copper deficient meaning supplementation may be required to support health and performance. EnduraBol Sheep + Copper gives farmers in deficient prone areas access to this supplementation.

Equally as important as trace elements are vitamins. The only bolus on the market to include vitamins for both cattle and sheep, the EnduraBol range offers livestock farmers a complete micronutrient product.

“Like trace elements, tough environmental conditions such as drought can result in vitamin deficiencies in forages,” explains Ms Hall. “Again, these play a significant role in the health and performance of stock and should be supplemented.”

EnduraBol boluses for cattle and sheep include optimal amounts of vitamins A, D3 and E. These work together to support the immune system, muscle development, nutrient absorption and aid in other areas of bodily function.

“To get the full benefit of selenium, vitamin E is especially important, they work together to support white blood cell function to reduce inflammation and disease,” explains Ms Hall. “The ability for both cattle and sheep producers to automatically have the correct supply of these two micronutrients is a huge safeguard for herd and flock health.”

“Compared to other micronutrient deliveries available, bolusing is the only method that both guarantees stock have received nutrients and allows for a slow and steady release over a prolonged time,” says Ms Hall.

EnduraBol bolus technology features ‘single point erosion’ that ensures consistent and reliable delivery of trace elements and vitamins for extended periods. This slow and steady release allows the animal to optimise absorption while ensuring consistent trace element delivery for up to 240 days depending on the product used.

The extensive range includes High Iodine, Cattle, Biotin, Pre-Calver and Organic for cattle and Sheep and Sheep + Copper for sheep – all expertly balanced with optimal rates of trace elements and vitamins.

“While it does require handling of livestock, it is the gold standard in micronutrient delivery. Administered orally and delivered to the rumen, bolusing ensures every single animal receives the right amount of the right kind of nutrients,” explains Ms Hall.

#1 Delivery of essential trace elements Selenium Cobalt ZincManganese IodineCopper #2 Supply vitamins #3 Provide a long-term and consistent supply of nutrients