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A Study on Seasonal Variability of Trace Elemental Status of Forages for Grazing Ruminants

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An investigation was conducted to determine the trace- mineral concentrations of forages in relation to requirements of ruminants grazing in natural pastures in the province of Punjab, Pakistan during two different seasons. Animals were closely followed during grazing and forages corresponding to those consumed by the animals were taken and analyzed for copper (Cu), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), and cobalt (Co) concentrations. The data on the trace- mineral concentrations showed that most of these minerals varied greatly as a function of seasons and sampling periods. The forage Cu, Fe, and Zn concentrations were affected by seasonal changes but no influence of season was observed on the concentrations of forage Mn and Co concentration. Forage Zn and Co, during both seasons and at some sampling intervals, and forage Mn during summer were at marginal deficient levels, and in contrast, all other forage trace-minerals were within the required range for ruminants during both seasons. Based on these results, the supplementation of Zn, Co, and Mn would seem most important to support optimum livestock productivity.
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Keywords: concentrations; forage; ruminants; seasonal variation; trace-minerals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan 2: Department of Botany, University of Agriculture, Faialabad, Pakistan 3: Animal Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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