Mineral mix: An expensive way to cut expenses in dairy cows

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During these difficult economic times, the desperate need to cut expenses has led some dairy producers to adjust budgets in areas that have dramatic impact on profits in the long run. In general, the role of minerals tends to be underestimated, probably because of the small proportion of mineral mix in the TMR compared to other nutrients, and the false assumption that “micro” means less important than “macro”. In fact, the prefix “micro” comes from the small amounts present in the body and small amounts required compared to other minerals, but they are equally critical for health and animal performance. In general, minerals are required for growth, muscle and nerve function, essential components of body enzymes, hormones and cells.

In this article, we’ll explore the role of minerals and their deficiencies; especially trace minerals, focusing on reproduction only.

Thirty years ago, balancing rations for dairy cows to meet maintenance and production requirements as far as energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and water was considered enough to prevent any deficiency or nutrient imbalance that could impact reproduction (Smith and Chase, IRM14). In recent years, research has demonstrated that those links between nutrition and reproduction are much deeper and complex than initially thought. Even though minerals have been an important component of a dairy cow ration, little is known about marginal effects of mineral deficiencies, imbalances or excessive intakes.

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Source: Repro Connections Insider



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