What is Tracesure?
Background to Animax UK
Two decades after they were first developed, the Tracesure® range of trace element boluses remain the only boluses on the market that utilise leaching technology to deliver a daily dose of trace elements to livestock.
This technology, developed by experienced veterinarian and Animax Ltd founder, Dr Les Porter, is fundamental to trace element supplementation. It is proven technology that allows cattle and sheep to get the four key trace elements essential for productivity and performance in accurate, consistent and regular doses over a period of between 5 and 6 months.
Low levels of selenium, iodine, cobalt or copper can have serious effects on ruminant health and production. Pasture and forage can be low in one or more minerals so the standard practice is to cover them all.
Supplementation should be controlled at levels that will correct seriously inadequate dietary intake while not giving rise to toxicity. This means individual administration in a slow release form.
The idea that animals will only take the trace elements they need in free access products has been disproved many times. In these products, levels of potentially toxic materials are minimised to avoid poisoning the greedy feeders but this means that the rest of the herd or flock don’t get sufficient quantities.
The feed industry provides an interesting parallel. With low levels of key trace elements and other less important micronutrients common in bulk feeds, particularly in grain, it is standard practice for a micronutrient package to be included with virtually all manufactured feed.
This makes sense since it only takes one key element to be at a low level for animal performance to be impaired. However, if livestock are unable to consume enough dry matter, their ability to consume sufficient trace elements becomes limited.
Bolusing allows the livestock producer to achieve a similar coverage of selenium, cobalt, copper and iodine without having to rely on dry matter intake; animals are supplemented regardless of their ability to consume forage.
For beef and dairy cattle, Tracesure® and Copasure® provides accurate and reliable supplementation. For calves that are weaned and fully ruminating, Tracesure® Calf and Copasure® 12.5g boluses supply approximately six months’ worth of selenium, cobalt, iodine and copper.
Tracesure® Calf is a ruminal bolus and capsule for calves weighing between 100 and 200kgs. Tracesure® Calf provides slow release supplementation of iodine, selenium and cobalt. Where dietary intake of iodine, selenium or cobalt is low, or where utilisation of iodine is depressed by forage goitrogens (eg in kale), or where pasture has a high molybdenum content, the health and productivity of the animal may be improved by supplementation of these elements.
Goitrogens are substances commonly present in brassicas (cabbage family), soya and in linseed meals, beet pulp and sometimes in pastures, which reduce the efficient utilisation of iodine in maintaining thyroid function. The thyroid gland produces hormones which control metabolism. Iodine deficient stock may suffer from reduced fertility (anoestrus, sub-oestrus in heifers coming in to mating), poor weight gain and general ill thrift, late abortion/stillbirth/perinatal mortality, metabolic disorders as well as an increased susceptibility to infectious disease, scours, BRD and parasitism.
Selenium deficient stock may suffer from white muscle disease, increased still births and depressed fertility.
Cobalt deficient stock may have depressed appetites and/or show signs of general ill-thrift.
Tracesure® Calf boluses release supplementary iodine, selenium and cobalt for up to 6 months. The iodine, selenium and cobalt are released from the bolus by leaching, providing dietary supplementation. Spent boluses become enlarged and fragile. They are eventually shed, intact or fragmented, by being regurgitated or excreted.
Beef or Dairy calves between 100 and 200kgs liveweight
Each application consists of a bolus. A rosin based, green cylindrical bolus, containing 1700mg iodine, 250mg selenium and 500mg cobalt. Under most grazing regimes the approximate daily dosage provided by Tracesure® Calf is, 1.5mg selenium, 3mg cobalt and 10mg iodine, can be expected to provide useful supplementation for up to 6 months.
Tracesure® Calf boluses are administered orally. Place the bolus at the back of the mouth, beyond the hump of the tongue, using a suitable dosing gun (e.g. Sirona’s Tracesure applicator). To avoid injury, the applicator should be used carefully and without force. Always check that the animal swallows both the bolus and the capsule.
NB: Tracesure® Calf bolus and a Copasure® capsule can be administered using the same applicator.
1x Tracesure® Calf bolus and 1 x Copasure® per animal weighing between 100 and 200kgs. Both bolus and capsule can be administered together in the same applicator head.
Do not give at the same time as any other selenium supplement or within 5-6 months of previous application except under veterinary advice. Tracesure® Calf should not be used in areas where the herbage is of high selenium content. Copasure® 12.5g should only be given if copper deficiency exists or is known to be a risk.
Seek veterinary advice if un-sure.
Not to be given to pre-ruminant animals.
For animal use only. Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
Tracesure® Calf should be stored in cool dry conditions in original packaging and should be handled carefully. In more humid conditions and if the wax coating of the boluses has been damaged, localised surface discolouration (grey-brown) may be seen. Such changes do not affect the performance of the bolus.
Tracesure® Calf is available in packs of 40 applications.
Pasture analysis for trace element content is useful and laboratories undertaking this work can provide advice on the need for supplementation. Pasture can vary greatly in their trace element content. Contaminated soil can substantially alter the trace element supply. Primary copper deficiency arises from a direct shortage of copper in the diet whereas secondary copper deficiency results from the antagonistic effects of elements such as molybdenum, sulphur or iron upon absorption. Tracesure® Calf is an effective long acting supplement in both cases. The severity of copper deficiency, whether of primary or secondary origin, varies greatly from farm to farm. On most copper deficient sites one dose of Copasure®, given to grazing calves will maintain normo-cupraemia over the grazing season and leave animals with a substantial liver copper reserve.
Tracesure® is a ruminal bolus providing the slow release of iodine, selenium and cobalt. It provides cattle with a continuous supply of bioavailable iodine (I), selenium (Se) and cobalt (Co) for up to 6 months. Each bolus contains 3400mg I, 500mg Se and 500mg Co.
Under most grazing regimes the approximate daily dosage provided by Tracesure® is, 3mg Se, 3mg Co and 19mg I, can be expected to provide useful supplementation for 5 to 6 months. Individual herds may require greater supplementation, dictated by different levels of production or pasture conditions, soil ingestion or the presence of goitrogens in the feed.
Trace element supplementation
Where dietary intakes of iodine, selenium or cobalt is low or where utilization of iodine is depressed by goitrogens from eg kale, the health and productivity of cattle may be improved by supplementation of these elements.
Trace elements are released from the bolus by leaching technology. Spent boluses become enlarged and fragile. They are eventually shed, intact or fragmented by being regurgitated or excreted, usually after 12 months.
Pasture analysis for trace element content is useful and laboratories undertaking this work can provide advice on the need for supplementation. Pasture can vary greatly in their trace element content. Contaminant soil can substantially alter the trace element supply. Routine pasture analysis does not detect the presence of goitrogens.
The animal’s iodine and selenium status may be assessed by blood sampling. Iodine status can be assessed by inorganic or plasma iodine (PII) and selenium by glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) assay. The T4 (thyroxine) test does not give a meaningful value for iodine intake. Animals with PII levels below 40µg/l are likely to show benefits in health and productivity from iodine supplementation. Optimum levels are currently thought to be above 100µg/l.
Goitrogens are chemical substances commonly present in brassicas, soya and linseed meals, sugar-beet pulp and sometimes in pasture. They reduce the efficient utilization of iodine in maintaining the thyroid function. The thyroid gland produces hormones which control metabolism
Three major trace elements – three keys to improvements
While low iodine status is not uncommon, the clinical signs are variable and can include reduced fertility (anoestrus), poor weight gain and general ill-thrift, late abortion / stillbirth / pre-natal mortality, reduced milk yield and quality, metabolic disorders as well as an increased susecptability to infectious disease, scours, bovine respiratory disease and paraistism.
Selenium is a trace element generally widespread in nature, is frequently low or insufficent in New Zealand quality pastures and crops. If intake is low, animals may suffer from white muscle disease, increases in still briths and have depressed fertility.
Cobalt is necessary for ruminants to maintain the vital production of vitamin B12 by bacteria in the rumen. Low intakes of cobalt can lead to depressed appetite and genral ill-thrift, which may come and go as grazing conditions change and may unrecognised for many months or even years.
Directions for Use:
- When cattle reach 200kgs liveweight they can be given one Tracesure® bolus every 6 months, ideally one month before mating.
- For cattle over 450kgs liveweight give two Tracesure® boluses every 6 months but ideally at dry off and before mating.
- For 2yr heifers give two boluses 2-3 months before calving
|Cattle – weight (kg)||Typical period of supplementation|
|Every 5 – 6 months|
|200 – 450||1 bolus|