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Vitamin and mineral content in grazing cattle

David Lalman


Mineral requirements are dependent on forage mineral content, animal age, and stage of production. However, simply knowing the animal's requirement is only one component in evaluating an animal's mineral status.

Mineral needs also tend to be area specific and change with soil type, fertilization rates, rainfall, and other factors.

An understanding of the need for minerals is necessary for making decisions about what and how much mineral to feed.

The article details the role minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur, and potassium and other trace minerals play in chemical reactions inside ruminants and the implications if it is found to be deficient.

The article also describes the signs and symptoms of oversupply or deficiency of these minerals in cattle.


Recommendations are made on specific forages to supply the specific chemical found to be deficient. 

Trace minerals discussed include copper, cobalt, iodine, iron and manganese.

As with the minerals, a description of their roles in the ruminant body is included and the illnesses that result from deficiencies is detailed.

The later part of the article covers vitamins and other supplementing minerals.

The article also advises the season when minerals are low in grass and when supplements would be necessary.

There is also a section on the effects of antagonist minerals - minerals that would affect the absorption of other minerals when it is in oversupply.



For more of the article, please click here


Article made possible through the contribution of the Oklahoma State University.

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