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Supplying Minerals/Trace Elements Outdoors

6 July 2017

The above graph is based on average figures for fresh grass.  As you can see from the graph the shortfall to most classes of stock is from the trace elements, including copper, cobalt and selenium. However this will be different depending on your forage.  It is important to remember that there are many factors which have an effect on the level of elements available to the animal.  For example: soil type, plant species, time of year, fertiliser application and stage of growth.

Ways to supplement:

  • Bolus – advantages: trace elements covered, don’t have to think about it, one easy dosing slow release everyday. Disadvantages: only covers TEs, relying on animal keeping it down and, expensive especially if given unnecessarily.
  • Bucket/block – advantages- convenience, supplies all. Disadvantages: relying on animals licking the bucket, difficult to control intakes
  • Loose weather proofed minerals. Advantages: cheaper, supply macro and micro minerals. Disadvantages: more wastage due to weather (waterlogging) and over consumption

Mary McDowell,


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