Health Care

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Pre-calving trace mineral supplementation

Pregnancy – and especially the last trimester – is a critical event in the life of a cow or heifer. Extra care and a purposeful focus on nutrition are needed to ensure optimal cow/heifer health and the proper growth and development of the foetus. Trace minerals, specifically, are essential to cow and heifer health during pregnancy, and also play a vital role in the development of the foetus. 

Trace minerals transferred during pregnancy from the cow to the unborn calf is the only source of trace minerals accessible to the calf before birth. This transfer provides the calf with the essential trace minerals needed for normal skeletal development, as well as the development of a strong immune system and muscle function.

Since trace minerals play an important role in the development of the immune system, and the fact that a cow loses about 30% of her trace mineral status at parturition, increased trace mineral status in cows and heifers can, in turn, limit post-calving problems such as retained placentas, mastitis, metritis and lameness, which could have a negative effect on conception rates.

Virbac has created this tutorial video on trace mineral supplementation pre-calving to help you better understand its importance:

The graph below shows the storage of copper in the liver of cows treated with Multimin® compared to a control group. Multimin® was injected 30 days before calving (Day 0) and 21 days before breeding (Day 96). Multimin® replaced the copper the cow was transferring to the calf. This resulted in an increased copper status, which is important for fertility and health.


Daugherty et al 2000. “Effects of prenatal and pre-breeding trace mineral/vitamin E injections on calf health and reproductive performance of beef cows”, Texas A & M University.

Listen here to Elmar Steenkamp of Oostermoed Boerdery on how he achieves conception of 93% in his herd by following a good oral nutrition programme as well as topping up with Multimin, when it matters.

Give your cows, heifers, and unborn calves the best chance in life:

Top Up with Multimin® 4 – 6 weeks before calving. Multimin®

Your partner in precision farming!



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