Utilization of Dietary Nutrients, Retention and Plasma Level of Certain Minerals in Crossbred Dairy Cows as Influenced by Source of Mineral Supplementation

  • Gowda, N.K.S. ;
  • Prasad, C.S. ;
  • Ashok, L.B. ;
  • Ramana, J.V.
  • Received : 2003.06.20
  • Accepted : 2003.10.20
  • Published : 2004.02.01


Nutrient utilization and plasma level of minerals were studied in lactating crossbred cows fed diet supplemented from different source of minerals. Twelve crossbred cows of first to third lactation during their mid stage of lactation were distributed equally under two groups and were fed concentrate mixture, green fodder (para grass) and finger millet straw as per requirement. Cows in group I were fed concentrate mixture supplemented with 1% mineral mixture whereas cows in group II were not supplemented with mineral mixture in the concentrate mixture but were offered additional quantity of green fodder (1 kg DM/cow/day) to compensate for the requirement of minerals. Balance study conducted towards the end of 120 days of feeding experiment indicated that the total dry matter intake in both the groups did not differ significantly. The cows in group II offered additional quantity of green fodder consumed significantly (p<0.05) more of green fodder (5.11 vs. 4.51 kg /animal/day) and the cows in group I consumed significantly (p<0.01) more of finger millet straw (1.71 vs. 0.92 kg/animal/day). The digestibility of major nutrients did not differ between the groups except for ether extract which was significantly (p<0.05) lower in cows fed additional green fodder. The total daily intake of P, Cu, Fe and Co did not differ significantly in both the groups whereas significantly higher intakes of Ca, Mg, Zn and Mn were observed in cows supplemented with inorganic source of minerals. However, supplementation through both the sources could meet the mineral requirement in group I and group II. The gut absorption (%) of all the minerals was comparable between the groups except for Mg which was significantly (p<0.05) higher in cows supplemented mineral mixture. The net retention of all the minerals was significantly more in the group supplemented with inorganic source of minerals. Except for P, Mg and Co the retention as percentage of total intake was comparable for all minerals in both the groups. Irrespective of source of mineral supplementation the average monthly blood plasma mineral levels (Ca, P, Mg, Cu, Zn, Fe) were within the normal range and comparable between the groups. Lower level of Cu observed at the start of the experimental feeding in both the groups increased with the advancement of supplemental feeding. The plasma Zn and Fe content in cows of both the groups did not vary. The blood plasma level of some minerals (Ca, P, Mg and Cu) was significantly higher towards the end of experimental feeding as compared to the initial values due to the reduction in milk yield with advancement of lactation or due to supplemental effect of minerals. It could be concluded that supplementation of minerals through inorganic source is better utilized in terms of retention as compared to green fodder (para grass), which is a moderate source of most nutrients.


Nutrient Utilization;Minerals;Dairy Cows;Green Fodder;Retention;Plasma Level


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