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Our goal has been to increase the immunity, health and productivity of our calves. With five heifers previously lost due to broken legs, our stock may have had suboptimal levels of trace minerals – so the Multimin Challenge was a great opportunity to see the impact of the trace mineral supplement on our livestock health and performance.
With the guidance of Multimin mentor Dr Susan Swaney, we ran a trial on our calves to see what effect Multimin may have on their general health and disease rates. The trial confirmed the critical roles that trace elements play in immunity and animal health and shows us that immunity can be enhanced by use of Multimin, and that optimisation of trace minerals at high demand time points can provide improved animal health and productivity.
We know the importance of the trace minerals in Multimin in the development of all stages of the immune system. Optimisation of trace elements at critical time points can provide better disease protection and in some cases improved weight gains, to give young animals the best beginning at what is a critical time in development.
Improved immune function means improved future productivity, and this type of program while calves are undergoing a growth phase and developing muscle, cartilage and bone has ensured they’re given the best possible start to life.
The Multimin Challenge has given producers who have never tried Multimin the chance to see how it performs on their property, and we’ve seen some really great results. For Renee, we certainly saw differences within the first 12 weeks. The treated calves didn’t seem to suffer from the usual gastric signs that the untreated herd had at the time of weaning. Multimin helped with the adjustment to weaner rations, and they went straight on to the new diet without any issues.
As part of the trial we had 105 treated animals and 105 untreated animals. All calves were weighed at birth and the even number tags were given a shot of Multimin injection and the odd number tags were left untreated and used as a control mob. Our first observation was that the treated calves had a very shiny coat compared to the untreated animals. Mentor Dr Susan Swaney advised that skin is the first line of defence and if animals have healthy skin, their immunity to disease is higher, and they can better fight off infections. With improved immune function comes improved future productivity.
The next obvious difference was when calves were transitioned onto hard feed, many untreated animals developed scouring and went off their feed for 2-3 days, however the treated animals continued to feed well.
“This really impressed me because scouring calves is very hard work and very time consuming.”