Prior to mating it’s important we ensure cows have sufficient levels of selenium and copper.
They both play a key part in retained foetal membranes and resistance to disease. Selenium is also important for embryo survival; generally the ovarian follicle which ovulates at mating time starts developing around calving so getting the timing of supplementation right is worthwhile.
Magnesium is key to calcium mobilisation from the bone, gut, and kidneys; so in consequence has a significant effect on the amount of metabolic disease seen on your farm. As magnesium cannot be stored in the body, it must be ingested on a daily basis. Blood tests can identify deficiencies in most minerals, however given copper is stored in the liver, biopsies are required also.
With our PP+ programme we routinely take 5 liver biopsies and 8 blood tests from a group of randomly chosen lactating cows of different ages and body conditions. Additional testing can also be done for B-OH (ketosis), calcium, GGT (liver function), and phosphorus on request.
It is a relatively quick procedure and can be done alongside a disbudding or metrichecking visit.