Needle versus throat in livestock supplementationVirginia Tapp, Thursday June 12, 2014 - 16:12 EST
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 2014
More breaking news
Grantham flood inquiry: Three people missing after 2011 deluge in Queensland never found, commission hears
Three people who went missing during the deadly 2011 Grantham flood have never been found, an inquiry in Queensland has heard.
Emergency workers have launched another rescue operation for people stranded in heavy snow, this time for 10 people snowed in at Lake Dobson in Mount Field National Park, about 75 kilometres north-west of Hobart.
Drought concessional loan scheme to be re-opened within days, says Federal Government drought coordinator
A new "drought coordinator" working on the border of Victoria and South Australia, says the next round of drought concessional loans will be opened within days and funding boosts will be announced for a list of service providers.