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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2012, Article ID 639472, 8 pages
Review Article

Trace Element Supplementation of Livestock in New Zealand: Meeting the Challenges of Free-Range Grazing Systems

126 Williams Road, RD 4, Palmerston North 4474, New Zealand
2Food and Bio-Based Products Group, Grasslands Research Centre, AgResearch Limited, Private Bag 11008, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand

Received 27 September 2012; Accepted 15 November 2012

Academic Editor: Marta I. Miranda Castañón

Copyright © 2012 Neville D. Grace and Scott O. Knowles. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Managing the mineral nutrition of free-range grazing livestock can be challenging. On farms where grazing animals are infrequently yarded, there are limited opportunities to administer trace element supplements via feeds and concentrates. In New Zealand, where the majority of sheep, cattle, and deer graze pasture year round, inadequate intake of cobalt, copper, iodine and selenium is prevalent. Scientists and farmers have developed efficient strategies to monitor and treat these dietary deficiencies. Supplementation methods suited to grazing livestock include long-acting injections, slow-release intraruminal boluses, trace element-amended fertilisers, and reticulated water supplies on dairy farms.