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Selko | Dairy Performance

FEED EFFICIENCY

The impact of trace mineral management on rumen function of dairy cows

The EAAP congress will take place from September 5-9 in Porto. Professor Jerry W. Spears from the North Carolina State University, Department of Animal Science, will be one of the speakers. His invited lecture will focus on trace mineral requirements of ruminal microorganisms, and the effect of trace mineral source on ruminal fermentation.

Trace mineral requirements of ruminal microorganisms of dairy cows

A number of trace minerals for dairy cows are required in low concentrations by ruminal microorganisms. With the exception of cobalt (Co), minimal dietary trace mineral requirements of the host ruminant appear to be considerably greater than that needed for rumen microbial requirements. It is well known that certain ruminal bacteria can synthesize vitamin B12 from inorganic Co. Some bacteria species require vitamin B12 as a growth factor, and adequate dietary Co is needed to allow sufficient ruminal B12 synthesis to meet their requirement. Vitamin B12 is needed as a cofactor for ruminal microorganisms to convert succinate to propionate. Dietary Co deficiency results in decreased ruminal propionate in ruminants fed high concentrate diets with low levels of fiber and decreased fiber digestion in ruminants fed high fiber diets with low levels of concentrate.

Feed efficiency of dairy cows is a key driver of dairy farm profitability

Feeding IntelliBond trace minerals improves digestibility of fibre in the diet, enabling cows to produce more milk out of the same amount of feed.

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The impact of trace mineral nutrition on ruminal fermentation of dairy cows

Attempts have been made to use high concentrations of certain trace minerals to favorably manipulate ruminal fermentation. For example, attempts have been made to increase rumen protein bypass by feeding high dietary zinc (Zn) to cattle. However, studies have indicated that high concentrations of copper (Cu), Zn, and iron reduce cellulose digestion in vitro. Recent studies have indicated lower fiber digestibility in cattle supplemented with sulfate sources of Cu, Zn, and manganese compared with those fed similar concentrations from hydroxy or certain organic sources. Research has clearly indicated that hydroxy sources of Zn and Cu are metabolized differently in the rumen than sulfate sources and limited research suggests that trace mineral source may affect the rumen microbiome. Additional research is needed to elucidate the mechanism(s) whereby trace mineral sources affect fiber digestibility of dairy cows differently.

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