Understanding how beef cow trace mineral requirements relate to production parameters


  • Larry Corah Kansas State University Manhattan, Kansas
  • John D. Arthington Kansas State University Manhattan, Kansas




Approximately 16 different minerals are required to support normal biological functions in beef cattle. Under grazing situations nearly all of these are adequately provided by forage and water. Minerals which are not met by dietary sources need to be supplemented. These minerals are grouped into two categories, macrominerals and microminerals. The macrominerals which are commonly supplemented to grazing animal diets include; sodium (as NaCl), potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur. Only the microminerals which form a group called the essential trace minerals (ETMs) will be discussed in this report. Although false, a commonly held theory of trace mineral utilization is one which suggests that animals will consume trace minerals as they are needed. In reality, sodium as sodium chloride is the only mineral which animals have the innate ability to consume as needed. Therefore proper trace mineral intake is crucial when addressing potential deficiency situations.

Seven trace minerals are considered essential to support normal physiological functions in beef cattle. These include: cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc. The level at which these ETM's are supplemented varies irt accordance with the amount and availability with the diet being consumed.




How to Cite

Corah, L., & Arthington, J. D. (1994). Understanding how beef cow trace mineral requirements relate to production parameters. The Bovine Practitioner, 1994(28), 17–20. https://doi.org/10.21423/bovine-vol1994no28p17-20