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Chelated Trace Minerals Reduce Dairy Lameness, Improve Conception

Chelated Trace Minerals Reduce Dairy Lameness, Improve Conception

Author: Heather Tucker, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Ruminant Nutrition



Can Nutrition Help Solve Infertility and Lameness in Dairy Cows?


The answer is YES! Infertility and lameness are ongoing issues that dairy producers and veterinarians struggle with on a daily basis. The good news is nutrition clearly plays a role in both infertility and lameness, and research shows that supplemental trace minerals like copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) can reduce the incidence of both health challenges.

Cu, Mn and Zn play important roles in protein synthesis, vitamin metabolism, formation of connective tissue and immune function. As milk production per cow has increased, there has been new interest in the use of organic trace minerals in dairy cow rations to further optimize production. Organic forms of Cu, Mn and Zn, have been shown to have higher intestinal absorption and mineral availability to the animal.


Chelated Trace Mineral Study

A recent study evaluated the effects of feeding a ration with partial replacement of chelated trace minerals (CTM; Zn, Cu, and Mn supplied as MINTREX® chelated trace minerals) compared with a ration containing only inorganic trace minerals (ITM) on locomotion score, milk production and reproductive performance of dairy cows in different herds. Twenty-seven dairy herds who are members of a dairy cooperative in central Spain that fed the same total mixed ration (TMR) sourced from the same location were enrolled in the six-month study.


The results showed:

  • No differences in milk production between treatments.

  • Partial replacement of ITM for MINTREX Cu, Mn and Zn improved hoof health in herds with a relatively low prevalence of lame cows.
    • There was a greater prevalence of lameness in MINTREX than in ITM herds during the first 2 months of study, and a lesser prevalence in the last 3 months of study.
    • Cows in ITM herds had more than two times greater risk of being culled due to lameness.

  • Cows that had received MINTREX for at least 30 days prior to first AI had a 30 percent improvement in conception rate and were 1.5 times more likely to become pregnant than those receiving only ITMs.

  • At second AI, there was a trend for greater odds of conception for cows fed MINTREX

So, replacing inorganic trace minerals with MINTREX chelated trace minerals can help reduce lameness and improve conception rates in dairy cows compared to cows fed only ITMs. To read more details about the study, contact your Novus Sales Representative or visit www.novusint.com/MINTREXdairy