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Trace Minerals for Performance

While they constitute a small portion of the overall diet, trace minerals such as zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and manganese (Mn) play key roles in various metabolic and physiological functions necessary for avian development.

Successful breeder operations are measured on their ability to supply high quality chicks. Maternal nutrition is critical to providing nutrients for the egg to support embryo development and progeny performance. This can be achieved by feeding a highly bioavailable source of Zn, Cu and Mn, as these minerals are crucial for both physiological and structural development of the hen and her progeny.

MINTREX® bis-chelated trace minerals have a defined and consistent structure, which give a high degree of protection to the mineral and provides stability in the digestive tract while minimizing reactions with antagonists. MINTREX® provides both increased mineral availability and a source of methionine activity in one product.

Compared to other trace minerals sources, hens fed MINTREX® showed the following benefits:

  • Increased production (Arbe et al., 2011)
  • Improved hatchability (Buttin et al., 2013)
  • More chicks hatched per hen (Arbe et al., 2011)
  • Increased mineral deposition in the egg yolk, impacting the developing chick’s hatchability and skeletal integrity (Torres and Korver et al., 2011)
  • 4% increased bone mineralization in day-old chicks (Table 1) (Buttin et al., 2013)

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In a field validation trial with a major integrator (Customer field trial, FV2018-0065, 2018-2019), comparing data from the trial period to data from the prior year, broiler breeders fed MINTREX® at Complex A had improved average hen production (1.74%), percent hatchability (1.36%) and percent of total fertile eggs (1.51%) compared to the ITM program (Figure 1). Similar results were observed at Complex B in which broiler breeders fed MINTREX® had improved average hen production (0.52%), percent hatchability (2.39%) and percent of total fertile eggs (2.49%) compared to the ITM program (Figure 2). The broiler breeders fed MINTREX® had more chicks hatched.

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In this field validation, feeding MINTREX® Zn, Cu and Mn bis-chelated trace minerals to broiler breeders improved performance across all key parameters compared to inorganic sources, over a 1-year trial period. This study demonstrated that reducing the overall trace mineral levels by feeding MINTREX® Zn, Cu and Mn can effectively improve broiler breeder hen performance, production, hatchability and fertility compared to a traditional ITM program. With high production costs and tight chick supply these biological benefits attributed to MINTREX® have demonstrated a positive return on investment to the producer.

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