I farm near Rathkenny in Co Antrim. I run a pedigree Suffolk and Texel Flock, and also have 400 commercial Suffolk-Cheviot and Mules.
I strongly believe that trace element supplementation contributes to the overall results of good farm management.
I have been using boluses for over 10 years on my flock. There are plenty of options out on the market.
Last Autumn 2017, I decided to trial out the new Mayo Healthcare All Guard Ewe bolus on part of my flock to see how it would compare to the bolus I was currently using.
Initially, what attracted me to the bolus, was that it is the strongest ewe bolus I could find on the market.
I am a strong believer in the importance of cobalt, and the Mayo Healthcare bolus has nearly double the cobalt of its nearest competitor. It is really easy to administer.
The bolus has an extreme high density and therefore is a lot smaller than the previous pre-tupping boluses I used.
I was delighted with the comparison in Autumn 2017. The ewes with the Mayo Healthcare bolus scanned at 1.96 per ewe.
They seemed to go in lamb more easily. Obviously, in Autumn 2018, I just used the Mayo Health Care bolus and did not trial it against any other bolus.
The lambs were livelier and thrived a lot better when born.
I noticed hoof health was a lot better, which could have been down to the addition of Zinc.
I used the “All Guard Ewe 5in1” which had 4g of copper on the Suffolks, and the “All Guard Ewe 4in1” which has no copper on the Texels.
This year, I am also going to use the Tupmaster drench along with the bolus. I was using an extremely good mineral drench from another manufacturer, but apart from the higher levels of chelated minerals and vitamins, the most attractive thing about the Mayo Healthcare drench, was the fact Propylene Glycol is the main carrier in their drench. It is pure energy for the ewes, to help make sure their Energy levels are right.
Negative energy levels have a negative effect on fertility, so I am confident that using a propylene glycol based energy drench, will quickly help to reverse a low energy status.