Last updated on May 11th, 2022 at 01:01 pm

How does Riomax impact trace mineral levels, specifically copper, in a cow?

In every Riomax® formula, you'll find our Esqort® mineral package, which contains 100% rumen bypass trace minerals. This means that the minerals have the very highest chance of getting into the bloodstream. Yet you still may have the question:

How do I know if copper is really getting the cow's system? And how quickly can copper levels change?

Dr. Hall, whom we've named 'The Mineral Guru of the West', has done liver biopsy work for decades, working all over North America. His work has consistently shown that there is a huge amount of copper deficiencies in cattle herds across North America.

So we decided to drill in, to figure out how Riomax® moves the needle in terms of lifting copper levels, and how fast, using live cattle in the Rio Nutrition LiveLab.

To do so, we performed a couple liver biopsies to determine copper level changes in the system. It doesn’t hurt the animal or require death, it's just a biopsy needle about the diameter of the tip of a ballpoint pen. A liver biopsy is the truest and most accurate way of determining mineral status of the cow, according to Dr. Hall.

  • THE GOAL: Increase copper levels using the Riomax® tubs.
  • THE QUESTION: How big of an impact does Riomax® make on copper levels, and how fast?
Liver Biopsies 1.18.22-29 WEB

The Liver Biopsy Mineral Trial Results

On November 18th, 2021, we biopsied the 26 bred cows. We received the results back and their copper levels were at an average of 146 parts per million.

On December 7th, we started them on the Riomax® PG360™ tubs.

On December 22nd, we liver biopsied the 26 bred cows again 14 days after being on the Riomax® tubs, and their copper levels were at an average of 200 parts per million, which was a 37% increase. On January 18th, we performed our final liver biopsy trial on the cows, 42 days after starting on the Riomax® tubs and their average was at 332 parts per million, which was a 128% increase.

All 26 Bred Cows Copper Levels
All 26 Bred Cows Copper Levels

From the 26 cows that we biopsied, 9 were clinically deficient in copper, but at an average of 30 parts per million. We took those 9 and biopsied them 7 days after being on the Riomax® tubs and they came up with an average of 69 parts per million, which was 132% increase.

The liver biopsies were performed by a registered vet, Dr. Jason Beyer. The feed program was hay, corn stalks and 4 pounds of corn screenings per day.

What a Cow Liver Biopsy Shows Us

A liver biopsy is helpful, because it enables us to look inside a cow, and find out: how did we move the needle? There are so many things going on inside a cow - but when you can pinpoint one specific measurable and track it, it’s exciting to see a tangible difference in copper levels.

Copper is very important for a cow. Not only does it improve immune status and reproductive performance, copper plays a part in bone growth and antibody development. Copper deficient cattle are more susceptible to infections and do not respond as well to vaccinations

We’re here to make an impact on the ranching industry that actually counts.

9 Clinically Deficient Cows' Copper Levels
9 Clinically Deficient Cows' Copper Levels
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