Effects of Low-Dose Organic Trace Minerals Supplementation on the Mineral Excretion and Physiological Mineral Status in Small Ruminants

  • Antal VIGH Faculty of Animal Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, Calea Mănăștur 3-5, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, 400372
  • Soraia PUTRINO Research and Development, ADM Animal Nutrition, Descalvado, 13690
  • Christine GERARD Science and Technology Department, ADM Animal Nutrition, Talhouet, Saint-Nolff, 56250
Keywords: Ruminant, trace minerals, excretion


This study investigated the effects of replacing inorganic trace mineral (ITM) supplementations of Mn, Zn and Cu by iso or lower doses of organic TM (OTM) on mineral status and mineral excretion of sheep. Following a Latin square design, nine castrated rams were divided to three experimental treatments: supplementation either with ITM (INORG) or OTM (ORG) following the recommended levels, and OTM at a reduced dosage (ORGLow). After an adaptation period, samples of feces, urine and blood were collected for 12 days in metabolic stalls. Serum mineral content showed differences only for Cu, which was significantly higher (p<0.01) with ORGLow when compared to INORG and ORG (0.79, 0.74 and 0.69 mg/kg, respectively). Total daily feces mineral excretions were downregulated with ORGLow compared to the INORG or ORG: 77.2, 89.2 and 91.6mg/day; 38.8, 56.0 and 57.0 mg/day; 5.70, 8.15 and 7.06 mg/day for Mn, Zn and Cu, respectively. The results of this study suggest that supplementing sheep with a low dosage of OTM significantly reduces mineral excretion without a negative effect on the physiological mineral status of the animals. Further long-term studies are necessary to assess the mineral mobilization from body storages during supplementation with low dosages of OTM.