Feed manufactures and agricultural colleges working together and independently have made tremendous strides in nutritional
research in the past years. As a result of their efforts, feeders, ranchers , and farmers are now producing more meat and
more milk in less time and with less feed than ever before. However one very important phase of animal nutrition has generally
gone neglected – Mineral Feeding.
Through the efforts of the agricultural colleges and feed manufacturers research farms, livestock producers are now able to
feed minerals at the same efficient level as already achieved in the rest of their feeding program through the use of antibiotics,
vitamins, and improved “feed formulation”.
Much more emphasis is being placed on the mineral fortification of livestock rations today than ever before. With an
understanding of the Mineral Feeding Facts, farmers and ranchers can:
1.More fully utilize the protein, carbohydrates, minerals and fats in the animals regular rations, for faster gains and
2.Improve the bone structure of their animals, to support increases in average daily gain.
Minerals play a unique role in nutrition because the furnish no energy of protein, but yet are essential for the utilization of
energy and protein for the biosynthisis of essential nutrients.
Minerals make up approximately 4 to 6% of the body of a vertebrate animal, but because of there diverse roles in body
processes they are important in the entire field of nutritional biochemistry. The mineral elements known to be, or suspected of
being essential for the physiological process in animals are shown below:
Major Elements Minor Elements
Minerals are natures key to proper livestock nutrition - factors which stimulate growth and reproduction and assures overall
health and gains. Minerals are necessary for the animal to build body tissue, bones and teeth. A proper balance of minerals
'triggers' the digestive processes and promotes a more efficient utilization of all other feedstuffs in the ration.
Much more emphasis is being placed on mineral fortification of feeds today than ever before. Some of the major factors which
have brought about this increased need of mineral fortification in animal diets are:
Mineral content of feed crops is lowered by losses due to erosion and long continued cropping during generations
of land use.
Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potash fertilization, while increasing yields, has tended to lower the proportion of essential
minerals in feed crops.
Breeding for rate of growth, fattening and milk, egg, or wool production has set up greater mineral demands.
Antibiotics and other growth and production stimulants have accentuated mineral requirements.
Greater use of naturally low mineral oil meals, mill feeds, and synthetic sources of protein, such as urea, in place of
tankage, meat scraps, fish meal, and skim milk has made supplementary mineral feeding necessary for all livestock.
Changes in the method of processing feedstuffs.
The complex interaction if the various mineral elements.
The move toward confined rearing and feeding in cages and slotted floors and way from floor pens.
To meet this increased demand for minerals and avoid loss of livestock and/or profits through rejection or down grading, not
only the common minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and salt must be available in adequate amounts, but the trace
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