Sources

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Government of Alberta

Agriculture and Rural Development
Additional Research

NDSU

Beef Cattle Mineral Nutrition,AS-1287,
June 2005 Marcy Ward, Ph.D.
Candidate, Research Associate
NDSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences Greg Lardy,
NDSU Extension Beef Specialist
Department of Animal and Range Sciences

Proper nutrition is one of the most important factors for the
health and growth of your herd. And ultimately, it plays a major
role in the profitability of your operation.

University, government and private studies all agree that
there is a direct correlation between nutrition and the various
metabolic, biological and environmental factors that affect
productivity. Furthermore, all concur that subclinical mineral
deficiencies are at the root of many livestock health problems
that impede growth and reproductive functions, often
contributing to earlier mortality rates.

However, it is also acknowledged that certain mineral and nutrient imbalances can, in some cases,
produce negative results and compound existing conditions and diseases. This is also compounded
by: climate, soil and plant mineral composition, forage, breed and stage of production, all affecting
an animal’s mineral status.

Studies conclude that determining an ideal mineral supplementation program varies depending
upon: region, herd health, environmental influences like water, mineral and feed quality, cattle
type and time of year.

Sample Nutrition Deficiency Charts

Scroll down to view some typical mineral deficiencies, symptoms and complications.

  • ‐ SYMPTOMS OF TRACE MINERAL IMBALANCES & DEFICIENCIES
  • ‐ SYMPTOMS OF COPPER & ZINC MINERAL DEFICIENCIES IN COWS & BULLS

Symptoms of Trace Mineral Imbalances & Deficiencies
TRACE MINERALSYMPTOM OF DEFICIENCYNOTE
MANGANESE
Silent heats, compromised
reproduction, newborns with
shortened tendons, lower birth
weights
Too much iron causes lower
manganese retention in claves.
Excessive calcium, potassium or
phosphorus in the diet tends to
reduce manganese absorption
SELENIUM
Chronic diarrhea, frail or dead
calves, white muscle disease,
compromised immune system
leading to low resistance to
disease, retained placenta
Selenium absorption is reduced
when sulfates are too high in
diet and/or water
IODINE
Hairless newborns, infertility,
frail or dead newborn calves,
lump jaw, propensity for soft
tissue infection, retained
placenta, foot rot
Excessive iodine leads to dry
cough, higher temperatures,
runny nose and eyes
IRON
Anemia, listlessness, impaired
weight gain, higher mortality
rates, illnesses caused by
compromised immune system,
poor feed intake
Diarrhea, reduced feed intake
and lower gains are related to
too much iron in the diet (iron
toxicity)

Symptoms of Copper & Zinc Mineral Deficiencies
in Cows & Bulls
TRACE MINERALCOWBULL
COPPER
Late puberty, lower conception
rates, lower ovulation, embryo
death, delayed estrus
(coming into heat)
Lower spermatogenesis and
libido
ZINC
Abnormal estrus, difficult or
abnormal labour
Late puberty, low libido, stunted
growth, smaller testicles

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