Copper Myths

Cosecure boluses contain a unique form of rumen-available ionic copper.
Let’s find out a bit more about why this is significant.


Is All Copper The Same And Are All Boluses The Same?

The critical difference between Cosecure and other nutritional supplements is that Cosecure supplies rumen-available elements.

The copper in our unique boluses is in the form of ionic copper, which is active in the same pH range as the rumen. This means that the minerals are highly available to the animals in the rumen.

Some boluses supply copper in the form of Copper Oxide. Copper Oxide is active at much lower pH levels, and requires exposure to abomasal acidity before release of the copper.

Why does it matter if the elements are rumen available?

The cow will ingest molybdenum and sulphur through its diet. Molybdenum and sulphur bind together to form something called Thiomolybdate. Thiomolybdate is very ‘copper-hungry’. It binds with copper in the rumen and when there is no copper left in the rumen, it moves into the bloodstream and binds to the copper-co-dependent enzymes there.

These enzymes are vital for fertility and productivity. When the molybdenum and sulphur combination (thiomolybdate) binds with these copper enzymes in the blood, they are rendered inactive, so fertility and productivity are impaired. Some farmers will know this as ‘copper lock’ or ‘secondary copper deficiency’. We know it as TMT (or thiomolybdate toxicity).

To stop ‘copper lock’ or ‘TMT’ occurring, we need to stop the molybdenum and sulphur combination (thiomolybdate), from moving out of the rumen and into the bloodstream. The only way to do this is to supply enough copper in the rumen to satisfy the thiomolybdate’s ‘copper hunger’.

Because Cosecure’s copper is rumen-available, it is able to do this. It supplies copper in the rumen continuously for up to 6 months, meaning the thiomolybdate doesn’t pass into the blood in search of more copper; it doesn’t bind with the blood’s copper-dependent enzymes and it therefore doesn’t impair fertility and productivity.

The boluses also contain rumen-available ionic cobalt. Why is it important that the boluses also supply rumen-available cobalt?

Unlike cobalt-oxide boluses, the Cosecure boluses supply ionic cobalt which is rumen-available.

Bacteria in the rumen require cobalt in order to synthesize Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is vital for energy utilisation and productivity. The body has no capacity to store cobalt, so Cosecure’s ability to continually supply rumen-available cobalt for up to 6 months is ideal for improving cobalt supply and promoting health in cattle.

What other factors affect that fertility, immunity, thrive and productivity?

Lots of factors! Fertility, immunity, thrive and productivity are extremely complex issues with many causes and it is important to always consult a vet and understand your herd’s nutritional status before using any boluses, medicines or other nutritional products. For more information on the bolus range, contact your vet.

Copper Myths

Think you know about copper? Think you know about boluses? Did you know that some commonly held beliefs about copper, copper deficiency and nutritional supplements are not correct.

Click on the copper myths below to find out the facts.

  • Myth 1: If copper is showing up in blood tests, there is no thiomolybdate toxicity +

    Reality: Thiomolybdate (MoS4) binds to copper and makes it useless. However, this useless copper will still show up in blood tests.

  • Myth 2: Some copper is good, so more copper must be better! +

    Reality: More does not necessarily mean better. Where thiomolybdate toxicity occurs, it is vital that bolus copper is rumen-available. While some nutritional capsules may contain more copper, if this is in the form of copper oxide, it may only be available in the abomasum where it may simply be absorbed into the body and cannot stop the thiomolybdate uptake into the blood.

    Cosecure and CoseIcure boluses contain ionic copper, which is active in the same pH range as the rumen.

  • Myth 3: If the animal’s coat/fleece looks healthy and the bald, spectacles eyes disappear after I’ve administered a copper supplement, it must have worked. +

    Reality: TMT can have both visible (clinical) and invisible (subclinical) symptoms and consequences. Examples of the visible symptoms are poor fleece quality, gingering coat, and bald spectacle eyes. However, some of the more damaging consequences of TMT are invisible, such as reduced fertility and impaired energy utilisation.

    Just because and improvement in outwardly symptoms, such as coat colour, is observed, this does not mean the more severe animal health issues have been rectified.

    However when ionic copper is readily rumen-available, it binds with Thiomolybdate in the rumen and prevents it from passing into the blood stream. This means thiomolybdate can not bind with copper co-dependent enzymes in the blood and this TMT is prevented.

  • Myth 4: All boluses are more or less the same. It doesn’t matter which one I pick because they all do the same job +

    Reality: Cosecure Cattle boluses are different to all other boluses. They contain ionic copper which is readily available in the rumen, as ionic copper is active in the same pH range as the rumen.

    Some boluses deliver copper in the form of copper oxide. However, copper oxide requires a low pH to become active. As the normal range of rumen pH is higher, between pH 5.5 and pH 6.5, it is chemically impossible for copper oxide to become active here. Copper oxide only becomes active in the abomasum (which has a pH range of 2 to 4), where it may simply be absorbed into the body, and cannot stop Thiomolybdate uptake into the blood. Rumen-available copper is essential for the prevention of thiomolybdate uptake into the blood, and consequent Thiomolybdate Toxicity.

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Available for cattle, sheep and lambs


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Available for cattle and sheep