Trials of Supplementing Various Concentrations of Zinc

(Cadra Van Bibber-Krueger) The first trial we did involving feeding higher concentrations of zinc, we were just trying to see if we can improve growth performance or carcass characteristics from feeding zinc in combination with zilpaterol hydrochloride or known as Zilmax. The source that we used in this trial was zinc sulfate because there are multiple different sources. And in that trial we fed a relatively high concentration, we fed 300-ppm zinc or parts per million zinc and we observed cattle, their intake started to decrease towards the end of our trial. So we kind of started thinking well it was clear to us feeding 300 parts per million zinc was too much and it was starting to have a negative effect on intake. So we kind of got to thinking what do cattle need? We supplemented 0, 30, 60 or 90 parts per million zinc and that’s with a basal concentration in a diet that already contained about 30 parts per million. According to our research trial we had a dietary concentration prior to supplementation of 30 parts per million and then we added 60 more do that’s a total of 90 parts per million seemed to where, appears to be where we optimize efficiency of the feedlot cattle here. Since already a mineral is being supplemented to the animals anyways so if we can give them the right amount that something I think that’s very beneficial. Not only as far as the animals are eating less and still gaining the same but we also noticed when we analyzed the carcass traits. When we applied values to those numbers so we pretty much calculated the total carcass value based on good pricing. Over an average pricing over the past five years that we saw similar trend to where supplementing 60 parts per million zinc so again total dietary concentration of 90 parts per million is where we kind of appeared to maximize our total carcass value on these animals. It was about $25 increase from going to no supplemental zinc to supplementing 60 and it decreased the $10 of an increase in carcass value and went to 90. But there was a pretty big variation between all the animals that we were looking at. So it was just a numerical difference but for a mineral that you’re supplementing anyways that costs less than a penny today to supplement its worth put in the right amount in the diets.

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