Injectable trace minerals pre-breeding
increased cow and grazing heifer pregany rates
Successful conception rates for cows and heifers start 30 to 60 days before the breeding season begins. Producers should understand that females produce one egg per heat cycle. The egg needs three weeks to mature, while bulls require two months to develop healthy sperm. Multiple university studies indicated that Injectable Trace Minerals (ITM) increased cow and grazing heifer pregnancy rates, benefitted calving patterns, and improved Breeding Soundness Examination (BSE) scores in young sires.
Darrel DeGrofft, D.V.M., who specializes in bovine reproduction at Colorado Genetics, says ITM containing copper, zinc, manganese, and selenium is not meant to
replace a year-round oral mineral, but is a supplement. When given to cattle before times of stress, production changes, or physiological changes, trace minerals boost enzymatic actions.
"It's important to have Multimin® 90 on board with cows and heifers 30 to 60 days prior to coming into heat," DeGrofft explains. "Trace minerals and good body condition scores also help increase conception rates."
DeGrofft's practice focuses on Embryo Transfer (ET) and Artificial Insemination (AI). He gives ITM to all donor and recipient cows in his care. He has seen improved embryo quality with slightly more Grade one embryos, and fewer degenerate embryos. More embryos survive because pregnancy rates have improved in recipient cows.
"Read and follow the Multimin® 90 label for dosages and timing instructions," DeGrofft advises. "Use ITM, along with a sound management program."
K.C. Olson, Ph.D., professor, and researcher in Animal Science at Kansas State University, has conducted several studies using Multimin® 90 Injectable Trace Minerals. In a cow study, Olson injected females with ITM twice, once in mid-December at the final pregnancy check, and again at calving. He saw more positive synchronization
responses and AI pregnancies than expected. A shift in calving distribution also occurred.
"We moved about 14 percent of the cows out of the middle 20 days in a 60-day calving season to the first 20 days of a 60-day calving season," Olson recalls. "That resulted in calves with heavier weaning weights, because the cows' subsequent offspring were, on average, born earlier. The AI conception rate was 10-12 percent better with Multimin® 90-treated cows vs. animals receiving the placebo. Ten to 12 percent more AI-sired calves was a significant economic benefit. This study was repeated at two different locations, producing similar results."
Olson also managed a 2014 Multimin® 90 study involving about 500 weaned bull calves. Bulls first received Multimin® 90 at seven months of age. At ten months, they had an initial BSE and a second injection. At 12 months of age, the bulls had another BSE. Bulls that passed the second BSE were sold at 14-months of age.
"Sperm motility and morphology were improved in the Multimin® 90-treated bulls compared to the placebo-treated bulls," Olson shares. "More of the Multimin® 90-treated bulls that failed the first BSE passed the second one. There was salvage value for sires that weren't quite sound enough reproductively to make the sale. They made the sale because we treated them."
Olson also performed a simple economic analysis, comparing treatment expenses, chute charges for processing animals, and product cost. The net benefit to Multimin® 90-treated bulls enrolled in the study was about $85. "Even a small improvement in semen quality translates into more bulls being eligible to sell, producing a meaningful economic impact," Olson concludes.
Jonathan Perry, Manager of Deer Valley Farm, near Fayetteville, Tennessee, maintains meticulous performance records on his commercial and registered Black Angus cattle. He has used Multimin® 90 over ten years, ensuring every animal on the farm receives the product at least twice a year and prior to any period of stress.
"We believe Multimin® 90 boosts our animals' immune systems and helps them handle stress," Perry reports. "We use it pre-weaning, and in our pre-breeding vaccination protocol before the first breeding cycle. Although we provide a balanced daily mineral program, we feel increased trace mineral levels give us the best performance and conception rates."
The majority of Deer Valley Farm females conceive via AI or ET. Besides a boost in conception rates, Perry says additional trace minerals help his cows and heifers to remain pregnant, producing strong, healthy calves. He also sees positive results when bulls receive ITM 30 to 60 days before the BSE.
Multiple university studies of Multimin® 90 have shown the same positive results in pre-breeding animals. A strategic injection of trace minerals before the breeding season helps support the reproductive performance of cattle. For additional information, visit www.multiminusa.com.