Farm Table says:
Effects of organic or inorganic supplementation on productive and physiological responses of the offspring
What is the problem?
The nutritional management of pregnant beef cows in late gestation affects the performance of their offspring, but the status of trace minerals – including copper (Cu), cobalt (Co) manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) – in the pregnant cows and its influence on offspring productivity is unclear. This experiment looked at the influence of Cu, Co, Mn and Zn supplementation to beef cows in late gestation on offspring performance.
What did the research involve?
Eighty four pregnant, non-lactating Angus x Hereford cows at the end of their second trimester of gestation received diets containing one of three treatments:
- INR (sulfate sources of Cu, Co, Mn and Zn)
- AAC (organic complexed source of Cu, Co, Mn and Zn)
- CON (no supplemental Cu, Co, Mn and Zn)
These diets were offered until calving. Cow liver samples were taken before and after calving. Calf body weights were recorded and calf liver samples were collected within three hours of calving.
What were the key findings?
- ACC and INR cows had increased liver concentrations of Cu, Co, Mn and Zn, compared to CON cows
- ACC calves also had increased liver concentrations of Cu, Co, Mn and Zn
- ACC calves were >20kg heavier from weaning until slaughter and had reduced incidence of bovine respiratory disease, compared to CON calves
These results suggest that supplementation of an organic complexed source of Cu, Co, Mn and Zn to late-gestating beef cows improved growth and health in their offspring.
The importance of optimal trace mineral status in beef cows during late-gestation is demonstrated here. Supplementing such cattle with an organic source of cobalt, copper, zinc and manganese can improve offspring productivity via improved growth and health.