Source of trace mineral supplementation can have a significant impact on dairy performance
Dairy cows need at least 15 different minerals to ensure health and productivity. Traditionally, the focus of dairy nutritionists has been to avoid under-supply to prevent deficiencies.
More recently, it has become apparent that the level of supplementation as well as the source of trace minerals used in dairy cow rations can have a significant impact on rumen fermentation of dairy cows and thus NDF digestibility. The source of trace minerals fed can have a negative impact on feed efficiency, lactational performance and the health and fertility of dairy cows.
It has been suggested that a 1 point increase in NDF digestibility leads to an increase of 0.17 kg dry matter intake and 0.25 kg of 4% fat corrected milk. A meta-analysis showed an overall 1.7% points improvement in NDF digestibility in vivo when feeding Selko IntelliBond trace minerals versus sulfates.
However, there is limited data evaluating the effects of supplemental mineral sources on rumen fermentation characteristics of dairy cows. A trial was carried[3,4] out using the Fermentrics model to test the effect of various zinc trace mineral sources on apparent organic matter disappearance (aOMD) and apparent microbial biomass production (aMBP). There is a predictive equation of MBP and milk production.