Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Needle versus throat in livestock supplementation

Virginia Tapp, Thursday June 12, 2014 - 16:12 EST
ABC image
Molasses based supplement on a cattle station north of Julia Creek, Queensland. - ABC

Feeding minerals and vitamins to livestock has become common practice among graziers in recent years, but the way in which supplements are administered is changing.

Producers have now started injecting supplements and many in the industry are questioning whether it's better to inject or feed supplement orally.

Willie Smith is the developer of an injectable mineral supplement and also specialises in ruminant nutrition.

He explains why injecting supplements can be advantageous in cattle production.

"When a supplement is fed, most of it passes through the system, because the digestive tract is less efficient at absorbing minerals, but when it is injected, the animal is able to utilise the full dose.

"In field trials in North West Queensland, weaners treated with injectable minerals gained 15 to 45 kilograms more than those that were untreated."

The developer of a molasses based supplement says administering supplement orally is less stressful for livestock.

Wes Klett explains it's also less labour intensive to feed minerals.

"While injecting is very good during critical times, you still have to muster those cattle, you still have to run them through a crush in order to give them that injection and any time you handle cattle, that's an added cost and a loss of performance, because you stress the animal.

"Everybody tries to fix a problem with a needle, but consistent, daily intake of nutrition, is the way that it was meant to be."


- ABC

© ABC 2014

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

'Worse than the cyclone': Debbie's victims still battling home insurers

18:36 EST

It is 15 months since Tropical Cyclone Debbie smashed Mel Deacon's north Queensland home but it's still so badly damaged it is unfit to live in — something she blames on a bitter fight with her insurance company.

Cheeky Canberrans disrobe and jump in the lake to mark winter solstice

18:06 EST

It's the shortest day of the year, so why not take off all of your clothes and plunge into the freezing lake to celebrate? That's what a brave group of Canberrans did early on Thursday morning to mark the winter solstice and raise money for charity.

Antarctic expeditioners plunge into icy water at Casey Station to mark winter solstice

16:33 EST

Expeditioners at Antarctica's Casey Station have taken a plunge into -2 degree waters to celebrate midwinter.