“Using the tracesure® mineral bolus made our life a whole lot easier” says Te Uku farmer Grant Dickey.

Grant and Marlene Dickey together with their son Jason farm 185ha of undulating country out west of Hamilton at Te Uku not far from the Raglan coast. They also have another 170ha over the hill at Te Akau which operates as the run off. “It is mineral hungry country says Grant. Basically it is copper, selenium and cobalt deficient out here near the coast, so we always have to supplement with something to keep the stock looking healthy. We run about 630 cows that produce 220,000kg of MS and together with 100 replacements it keeps us busy.”

“We used to inject our calves with various selenium / cobalt products that we thought were doing the right thing. But always in the back of my mind was the risk of spike dosing particularly the selenium and whether we would get consistency of delivery.” “The cows are on water reticulation so using a dosatron was do-able but again can we be sure they get the right amount of minerals every day?”

Our farm consultant recommended we get some iodine into our cows but we weren’t sure how we could do that as we couldn’t readily find a suitable product.

We saw the tracesure® mineral bolus that offered a 5-6 month slow release of selenium, cobalt and iodine so we thought – let’s give it a go – what do we have to lose?

Both Jason and Grant reckoned they saw an immediate change in the calves; “they looked the part”. Live-weight gain improved and their overall health just looked magnificent. Says Grant: “using the tracesure® mineral bolus in the calves means there is no risk of spike dosing, there is a consistency of delivery of the right minerals but most of all I can actually see the minerals working doing what they said they would do, which is drive appetite (cobalt) which improved live weight gains. There are no injections, they are labour saving and value for money – do it once and do it right- gives us peace of mind.”

“Farmers are not very good at managing nor valuing time. Dosing my stock with tracesure® and copasure® once every 5 or 6 months means I can relax knowing the base trace minerals are taken care of.”

Jason adds “We tried them in the cows at pre-calving and didn’t think much had happened until we realised we hadn’t got the vet out for any RFM’s, submission rates were good and overall conception wasn’t too bad at 6% MT. Cows were healthy, milking OK and the only thing we changed was to give them a tracesure®, so they must be doing something!”

“We wouldn’t be without them now” is the final word in unison!

My farming system is rearing and finishing Friesian bulls. To optimise returns they must be at a killable weight at 18-29 months. I farm in the Maniototo which has a healthy but challenging farming environment.

My belief is that nothing or no one performs to their full potential while under stress.

What a great product you have developed.

My young bulls have always tracked along ok, but as I run them quite intensively there can be high larval challenges at times. If I am day or two late with a drench it can have quite an impact on their growth rates.

After consultation with Adrian Campbell and Ivan Holloway, our vets from Vetlife, we came to the conclusion there was still room for improvement and we had the ability to increase growth rates through the summer, autumn, and winter period significantly.

Alpheus capsules have enabled me to avoid worms, therefore yarding and drenching, from early February (all stressful, time consuming activities with a health and safety risk) with no signs of a follow up drench being required at this stage (December). They have never looked back.

We achieved great growth rates (average between 900 to 1000gms growth rate per day over winter), well above anything I have achieved before. It is the second year I have wintered on fodder beet and no other management changes were made so I can confidently attribute their great growth rates to the Alpheus capsule. We will definitely be using them again next year.

With good stock handling/restraining facilities application is a breeze!

– Angela Scott, Maniototo

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