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By: Umesh Sontakke DCN Division NDRI, Karnal


Reproduction is the most important production parameter in attaining profitability in a commercial cattle dairy farm. Adequate mineral intake & absorption is required for a variety of metabolic functions including immune response to pathogenic challenge, reproduction & growth. Subclinical or marginal deficiencies may be a larger problem than acute mineral deficiency in livestock.

Role of Minerals for Growth , Health and Reproduction

Mineral Zinc Copper Manganese Iron

Carbohydrate Protein,fat, metabolism Epithelial integrity, Reproduction, Enzyme cofactors Immune response, Hormones Oxygen transport, Cell proliferation, Vit. Bone development, metalloenzymes Cell protection, Haemoglobin formation Essential for

Limited performance, Reproductive problems Hoof & udder health Susceptible to infection

Slow wound healing
Hair,skin,feathering problem



Effects of Decline in Mineral Status on Animal Performance

Mineral Status


(Wiske et al.,1990)

Minerals related to reproduction

Zinc Copper Selenium Manganese Iodine Iron Cobalt

Zinc (Zn)

Zn30 65.37

Essential for proper sexual maturity, reproductive capacity in males & all reproductive events, more specifically with onset of estrus in female. It is essential for cell proliferation and cell division

It is component of thymosin a hormone produced by thymic cells which regulate cell mediated immunity Its deficiency alters prostaglandin synthesis which may affect luteal formation
(Cousin et al., 2000)

Dietary carotene Retinal Zn++ ADH Retinol Vitamin A ester (Liver ) Growth

Dietary Zn

Retina Rhodopsin

Retinal (cis) vision

Retinal (trans)

Retinol (cis) Reproduction Zn metallo enzymes

Retinol (trans)


Thimidine kinase (DNA synthesis)

•Maintenance and repair of the uterine epithelium • for proper sexual maturity, reproductive capacity

1.Carbonic anhydrase 2.Alcohal dehydrogenase 3.Lactic dehydrogenase 4.Superoxide dismutase 5.Alkaline phosphatase

Lysosomal stability

(Chhabra et al., 1982)

Zinc deficiency
 

Female: Decreased fertility and abnormal reproductive events in cow
(Kumar; 2003)

Reduce GnRH secretion that eventually leads to the arrest of ovulation
(Kaswan et al.,1995)

 

In male: Poor semen quality, reduced testicular size and libido
(Mass; 1987)

Zinc play important role in the control of testosterone synthesis or secretion
(Prasad et. al, 1985)

• Zinc deficiency

• Impaired development of smooth E. R. in leydig cell
• Biochemical lesions in pathways controlling steroid synthesis • Poor steroid binding • Reduce the effectiveness of intra testicular testosterone • Decrease capacity to produce testosterone • Impaired growth and function of seminiferous tubule
(Kerr et al, 1992)

Malformed twins delivered by Zn deficient ewe (Apgar et al.,2002)

Mummified twins delivered by Zn deficient ewe

Copper (Cu)



 Essential

element in enzymes important in immune competence, SOD and CP


and CP acts as antioxidants and protect the cells from free radicals. (Ward et al,1993)

 Supplementation

of copper either through copper sulphate or chelated copper enhanced the activity of SOD and CP.

 High

dietary concentration of Mo, S and Fe reduce Cu status in ruminants. (Suttle et al.,1991)

Function of Copper (Cu)

Pigmentation & keratinization of hair & wool Metalloenzyme Cytochrome oxidase, Lysyl oxidase, SOD, Tyrosinase CNS


Iron metabolism Immune system

(Mc Dowell,1992)

Cu deficiency & reproduction

Cu supplementation is must for quality semen production
(Puls, 1994)

 

Cu treatment is reported to improve conception rate (Hunter, 2000)

Defficiency: Increased chances of retained placenta and necrosis of placenta
(O’ Dell, 1990)

Low fertility associated with delayed or depressed estrus
(Hawell, 1999)

Effect of hypocuprosis on other mineral concentrations in the blood of buffalo-cows (μg/dl)

Copper Zinc

88.45 138.17

57.17 113.91

Iron Selenium

172.43 132.66

133.71 126.71

(Ahmed et al.,2009)

Manganese (Mn)

Mn25 54.94

Essential for normal brain function , collagen formation , enzyme systems, bone growth, urea formation, fatty acid & cholesterol synthesis. (Hunt et al.,1990)

Mn deficiency anoestrous, poor follicular development, delayed ovulation, silent oestrous & reduced conception rates.
(Hurley et al ., 1989)

Cofactor in a number of enzymes responsible for glucogenesis.
(McClure et al., 1994)

In Mn deficient male rat & rabbit
• Sterility & absence of libido along with seminal tubular degeneration, complete lack of spermatids and spermatozoa, and accumulation of degenerating cells in the epididymis. (Mc Dowell, 1996)

Enzyme activity Arginase, Pyravate carboxylase Mn-SOD, Hydrolase ,Kinase Decarboxylase, Transferase
Carbohydrate metabolism Glucose utilization Involved in insulin formation &activity Biosynthesis of glycoprotein


Reproduction Role in CL function congenital defect in young Disturbances in estrus Testicular degeneration

Cell structure & function Alteration in cell membrane integrity in liver, pancreas ,kidney and heart
(McDowell .,1996)

Manganese function


Necessary for cholesterol synthesis

Required for synthesis of steroid (oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone)

(Keen et al., 1990)

Selenium (Se)

Se34 78.96

 Se

function as an essential component of the enzyme Glutathione peroxidase, which destroys H2O2 and lipid hydroperoxides.
(Rotruck et al,1973)

 Se

deficiency in cattle reduces the ability of blood and milk neutrophils to kill yeast and bacteria.
(Grasso et al,1990)

 Administration

of both vitamin E and Se results in synergistic enhancement of the immune responses.
(Stabel et al.,1993)

 Deficiency

of vitamin E and Se increases susceptibility of dairy cows to intra-mammary infection.
(Smith et al,1984)


Se is a component of selenoproteins and is involved in immune and neuropsychological function in animals.
(Meschy, 2000)

Selenium deficiency plays a role in livestock diseases, impaired fertility, abortion, retained placenta and neonatal weakness
(McDowell et al., 1996)

Administration of Se improves daily weight gain of lambs
(Gabryszuk & Klewiec, 2002)

Iodine (I)

I53 126.90

It is necessary for synthesis of thyroid hormone that regulate energy metabolism. T3 & T4 maintain BMR & play a role in growth, muscle function, immunity, seasonality of reproduction. The iodine requirement is affected by production stage and body weight and typically ranges between 0.27 and 0.88ppm

(Mc Dowell, 1996)

Iodine deficiency & reproduction

Iodine is important in the development of fetus and maintenance of general basal metabolic rate.
Signs of deficiency: delayed in puberty, suppressed or irregular estrus
(Puls et al., 1994)

Failure of fertilization, early embryonic death, still birth with weak calves, abortion, increased frequency of retained placenta in females and decrease in libido and deterioration of semen quality in males
(Kumar et al; 2003)

Iron (Fe)

Fe26 55.85

A low level of serum iron (Fe) has been found to influence normal gonadal activity possibly by causing improper hormonal output and deterioration of general physiological function (Sharma et. al ;1986) It is evident that in ruminant, Fe deficiency is rare in grazing and well managed animals (Puls et. al;1994)




• Essential in ruminant diets for the synthesis of vitamin B12.
• Improves the efficiency of fiber digestion by bacteria. • Signs of a cobalt deficiency include increased mortality of offspring shortly after birth, increased susceptibility to infectious agents and infertility

Reproductive status of control and cows supplemented with complexed minerals
Item Days to first estrus Days to first service Days from first service to conception Days open Services per conception Control 67.6 82.0 14.2 91.7 1.4 Supplemented 46.9 74.0 10.7 80.2 1.4

Days to first luteal activity
Days to first corpus luteum



26 mg of Co as Co glucoheptonate,125 mg of Cu as Cu-Lys, 199 mg of Mn as Mn-Met, and 359 mg of Zn as Zn-Met.

(Campbell et al.1999)

Estimated NRC (2001) dietary mineral requirements for gestating cattle Requirements Minerals Function Gestating Gestating heifer1 Zinc Copper cow2 (mg/kg of diet DM) Required for cell division, DNA and RNA replication 31.0 22.8 and repair, and function of many enzymes Required for enzyme activity involving iron metabolism 15.2 and transport 13.7 17.8 0.3 40.0

Manganese Deficiencies have resulted in impaired growth, skeletal 22.0 abnormalities, poor reproductive function Selenium Iron Deficiency has been associated with decreased 0.3 reproductive performance and retained fetal membranes Present in hemoglobin and functions in oxygen transport 40.0 to cells


Required for synthesis of thyroid hormones, which 0.5 regulate the rate of metabolism
Essential for vitamin B12 synthesis by rumen microbes 0.11


by NRC as 500-kg heifer, ADG = 0.5 kg, day 250 of gestation. 2Defined by NRC as 650-kg cow, day 270 of gestation


Minerals plays a key role in immunity, enzymatic system and reproduction in animals.

Adequate long-term mineral supplementation is required to maintain normal cellular activity, reproductive function.
Feeding comlplexed forms of Zn, Cu, Mn and Co enhances reproduction performance as compared to inorganic type of mineral. Improving overall mineral status by providing highly bioavailable mineral sources in the diet is one way of minimizing the risk of insufficient nutritional and reproductive performance. Supplementation of minerals in animals significantly reduces reproductive disorders along with reproductive health status.

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