The importance of Microminerals in animal diet.
Minerals play an important role in the diet of animals. Of further importance is the intake at the correct levels and at the required frequency according to an animal’s production needs. The mineral sources that animals take to provide these necessary minerals should also receive attention. Lavendula collaborates with leading premix companies that specialise in compiling optimal premix blends to support optimal animal production.
Minerals have 3 vital functions, namely:
- Providing structural material to bones and connective tissue.
- Allowing electrical impulses to be transmitted to nerves.
- Acting as catalysts involved in the numerous physiological processes such as DNA replication, digestion, immune function, endocrine synthesis, neurological activity, energy storage and release, muscle contraction and numerous other functions.
Minerals work in a network of interactions with each other and therefore no mineral can be singled out for higher importance, and these nutrients should rather be seen as a comprehensive whole.
Minerals are divided into macrominerals and microminerals. This distinction is based on the amount the animal needs daily. Macrominerals requirements are measured in g/kg, while micromineral requirements are measured in mg/kg.
Vital macrominerals include:
Calcium, phosphate, potassium, sodium, chlorine, sulphur, and magnesium.
Vital microminerals include:
Iron, iodine, copper, manganese, zinc, cobalt, molybdenum, selenium, chromium, fluoride etc.
How can microminerals help animals respond better to vaccines?
Healthy animals respond better to vaccines than sick animals, and on most vaccine leaflets you are advised to only vaccinate healthy animals. Microminerals play an integral role in supporting and maintaining a healthy immune system. These nutrients serve primarily as catalysts in enzyme systems within cells.
When an animal is injected with a foreign antigen or a vaccine, the immune system responds to it. Microminerals support the immune system to help strengthen these defence mechanisms in both ruminants and monogastric animals.
Microminerals are often found in compound form in nature. An example of this is zinc. Inorganic zinc can be supplied to the animal as either zinc oxide or as zinc sulphate. The percentage of zinc available for uptake by the animals will differ in each of these sources. Because synergistic and antagonistic forces exist between minerals, all the zinc provided is not always bioavailable to the animal.
Organic micro minerals are in a highly bioavailable form of minerals that improves uptake through the digestive tract because these organic compounds use alternative uptake pathways than inorganic minerals.
To improve the levels of macorminerals and microminerals in production animals Lavendula offers the Trace Block (V16339) by Feedtek. This product contains salt, as well as 6 essential microminerals, which includes zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium in organic form. A 10kg block is very cost-effective and can be provided along with other supplements. When the Trace Block (V16339) is provided on a constant basis, it ensures a steady daily intake of vital minerals for any animal.
Here are links to two very informative articles that also explain the concepts discussed above very well: