The Role of Mineral Management in Ruminant Production Performance

Trace minerals help support growth and development, immune function and reproductive performance in livestock. In addition to improving reproductive and production performance parameters, minerals are also essential to supporting several enzymatic systems.

If trace mineral requirements are not met, deficiency symptoms are likely to occur. Poor bioavailability of various minerals as well as mineral interaction create the necessity for the use of highly bioavailable sources of minerals among feed producers, premix producers and farmers.

Due to major advances in genetic improvement and production efficiency of animals the use of highly bioavailable minerals is continuously increasing among ruminant producers.

By creating awareness and understanding of the basic selection criteria of minerals, Kemin is regarded as one of the leaders in organic mineral nutrition. Our research and knowledge has led us to develop KemTRACE™ Minerals.

KemTRACE™ Minerals: Kemin’s Mineral Management Programme

In order to meet the nutritional requirements in livestock diets, Kemin developed a line of minerals, called KemTRACE™ Minerals.

Animals fed the recommended concentration of minerals have minimal dietary-related challenges and overall, tend to have improved performance. The primary absorption site for minerals is thought to be the small intestine. However, it is possible that minerals are absorbed by other tissues throughout the body as well.

The first step to improving livestock production is to improve mineral bioavailability.

The Immune System of Production Animals

The primary function of the immune system is to protect animals from environmental threats that can impede their survival. The immune system identifies threats and eliminates these threats as quickly as possible and develops an immunological memory.

An immunological memory allows animals to remember specific pathogens and helps to eliminate these pathogens faster with subsequent exposures to the same pathogen.

Innate and Acquired Immunity

  1. Innate immunity: Also referred to as nonspecific immunity is the immunity all animals are born with and is the animal’s first line of defence against infectious agents.
  2. Acquired immunity: Also referred to as adapted or specific immunity, is immunity that develops as the animal matures. Acquired immunity produces specific responses to each infectious agent, and builds up an immunological memory against pathogens for ensuring faster elimination in subsequent exposures.

What parameters form the basis of quality mineral bioavailability?

  1. Solubility
  2. Dissociation
  3. Absorption
  4. Retention

Solubility of minerals increases the chances of timely dissociation of minerals. Along with this, dissociation of minerals at the optimum rate before reaching the absorption site (small intestine) also plays a critical role in the selection of minerals. The bioavailability of minerals depends on the total absorption level. Ultimately, mineral retention in the animal body determines the true value of mineral supplementation.

Does mineral supplementation in livestock differ during phases of life?

Yes. The proper amount of bioavailable minerals needs to be supplemented to support the homeostatic state of the animal during all phases of life. Minerals need to be supplemented at the correct concentrations throughout the life cycle to support the loss of minerals during energy expenditure and everyday production performance (e.g. milk production, immune response).

Mineral supplements are routinely added to rations to support livestock production and performance as an insurance against feedstuffs lacking the complete mineral composition. Many minerals are continually supplemented due to the lack of bioavailable minerals in feeds.

Which minerals are essential to most livestock?

Calcium Choride Chromium Cobalt Copper
Iodine Iron Magnesium Manganese Phosphorus
Potassium Selenium Sodium Sulfur Zinc

What are KemTRACE™ Minerals?

KemTRACE™ Minerals is Kemin’s line of organic trace mineral products. These products are highly bioavailable and safe with predictable and repeatable modes of action. KemTRACE™ Minerals allow nutritionists and producers to formulate diets at an economical price per unit of active minerals for optimal livestock health and performance.

While the salts that most minerals are bound to eventually dissolve into solutions, the metal propionates used in KemTRACE™ Minerals and KemTRACE™ Chromium were developed with optimum solubility potential for increased bioavailability and cost-effective solutions.