Trace minerals are essential for health & production :
The National Research Council estimates that trace minerals such as copper, manganese and zinc have low natural bioavailability and absorption in the animal and must be supplemented, because they play key roles in many of the animal's biological systems.
Copper is important for red blood cell health, collagen development and reproduction. It can aid immune functioning in the prevention of mastitis and other infections and diseases. Deficiencies of copper have been associated with retained placentas, embryonic death and decreased conception rates.
Manganese contributes to reproductive health. While pregnant, lactating cows require more manganese than do growing cattle. Deficiency signs include delayed ovulation, lower conception rates and calving difficulties.
Zinc is important in protein production and plays a role in immune development and response, cell growth, hoof and bone health as well as a defense against oxidative stress and damage. Additionally, zinc is important for production of keratin, which lines the inside of the teat duct and helps to keep out microorganisms that can cause mastitis.
Overfeeding of minerals does not improve animal performance :
Only a small portion of inorganic mineral salts are delivered to the intestinal absorption sites; much is excreted into the environment. Therefore, a ration would have to be formulated with higher levels of minerals to ensure the cow is getting the required amounts. However, overfeeding can result in antagonistic chemical interactions that also make the mineral unavailable to the animal. Feeding highly bioavailable trace minerals can help maximize performance. Chelated trace minerals are proven to have better absorption and bio-availability.
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