Document Type : Review Article


1 Young Researchers and Elite Club, Baft Branch, Islamic Azad University, Baft, Iran

2 Young Researchers and Elite Club, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran


A host of nutrients are needed by cattle to support functions associated with life, and to grow, reproduce, and nourish their offspring (i.e., produce milk). A vast amount of resources have been expended to quantify the amounts of specific nutrients needed to perform these function so that economically efficient diets can be formulated. Feeding diets that provide adequate, but not excessive, amounts of nutrients helps improve profitability of dairy operations while reducing the environmental impact of dairy farms. The trace minerals zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium are components of a wide variety of enzymes and proteins that support metabolism, growth, production, and reproduction. Trace mineral supplements are added to dairy cattle rations to prevent mineral deficiencies, and supplementation has traditionally been provided in the form of inorganic salts.


Andrieu, S. 2008. Is there a role for organic trace element supplements in transition cow health? Vet. J. 176:77-83.
Cao, J., P.R. Henry, R. Guo, R.A. Holwerda, J.P. Toth, R.C. Littell, R.D. Miles, and C.B. Ammerman. 2000. Chemical characteristics and relative bioavailability of supplemental organic zinc sources for poultry and ruminants. J. Anim. Sci. 78:2039-2054.
Chirase, N.K., D.P. Hutcheson, and G.B. Thompson. 1991. Feed intake, rectal temperature, and serum mineral concentrations of feedlot cattle fed zinc oxide or zinc methionine and challenged with infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus. J. Anim. Sci. 69:4137-4145.
Henry, P.R., C.B. Ammerman, and R.C. Littell. 1992. Relative bioavailability of manganese from a manganese-methionine complex and inorganic sources for ruminants. J. Dairy Sci. 75:3473-3478.
McDonald, M., I. Mila, and A. Scalbert. 1996. Precipitations of metal ions by plant polyphenols: optimal conditions and origin of precipitation. J. Agric. Food Chem. 44:599-606. 10.1021/jf950459q
Miller, W. J. 1981. Mineral and vitamin nutrition of dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 64:1196-1206.
Nocek, J.E., M.T. Socha, and D.J. Tomlinson. 2006. The effect of trace mineral fortification level and source on performance of dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 89:2679-2693.
NRC. 2001. Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. 7th rev. ed. ed. Natl. Acad. Sci., Washington, DC.
Siciliano-Jones, J.L., M.T. Socha, D.J. Tomlinson, and J.M. DeFrain. 2008. Effect of trace mineral source on lactation performance, claw integrity, and fertility of dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 91:1985-1995.
Spears, J.W. 1996. Organic trace minerals in ruminant nutrition. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 58:151-163.
Spears, J.W. 2003. Trace mineral bioavailability in ruminants. J. Nutr. 133(Suppl 1):1506S-1509S.
Spears, J.W., and W.P. Weiss. 2008. Role of antioxidants and trace elements in health and immunity of transition dairy cows. Vet. J. 176:70-76.
St-Pierre, N. R. and C. S. Thraen. 1999. Animal grouping strategies, sources of variation, and economic factors affecting nutrient balance on farms. J Anim Sci. 77 (Suppl. 2):72-83.
Vallee, B.L., and K H. Falchuk. 1993. The biochemical basis of zinc physiology. Physiol. Rev. 73:79-118.
Predieri, G., M. Tegoni, E. Cinti, G. Leonardi, and S. Ferruzza. 2003. Metal chelates of 2-hydroxy-4-methylthiobutanoic acid in animal feeding: preliminary investigations on stability and bioavailability. J. Inorg. Biochem. 95:221-224.
Predieri, G., L. Elviri, M. Tegoni, I. Zagnoni, E. Cinti, G. Biagi, S. Ferruzza, and G. Leonardi. 2005. Metal chelates of 2-hydroxy-4-methylthiobutanoic acid in animal feeding. Part 2: Further characterizations, in vitro and in vivo investigations. J. Inorg. Biochem. 99:627-636.
Tomlinson, D.J., C.H. Mulling, and T.M. Fakler. 2004. Invited review: formation of keratins in the bovine claw: roles of hormones, minerals, and vitamins in functional claw integrity. J. Dairy Sci. 87:797-809.
Tomlinson, D.J., M.T. Socha, and J.M. DeFrain. 2008. Role of trace minerals in the immune system. Page 39-52. In: Proc. Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop. Grantville, PA.
Wright, C.L., J.W. Spears, and K.E. Webb, Jr. 2008. Uptake of zinc from zinc sulfate and zinc proteinate by ovine ruminal and omasal epithelia. J. Anim. Sci. 86:1357-1363.