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Effect of an injectable trace mineral supplement containing selenium, copper, zinc, and manganese on the health and production of lactating Holstein cows

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a subcutaneous injection of a multimineral preparation containing 300 mg of zinc, 50 mg of manganese, 25 mg of selenium, and 75 mg of copper at 230and 260 days of gestation and 35 days postpartum, on the health, milk production and reproductive performance of lactating Holstein cows. A randomized field trial was conducted on three large commercial dairy farms located near Ithaca, New York, USA, with 1416 cows enrolled. All cows were housed and offered a total mixed ration consisting of approximately 55% forage and 45% concentrate on a dry matter basis of the diet, which supplied 2–6 times the NRC requirements for the supplemented elements. Dry cows and pregnant heifers were blocked by parity and randomly allocated to one of two treatments:Trace mineral supplemented (TMS) or control. For multiparous cows, subcutaneous TMS significantly decreased linear somatic cell count scores (normalized data) as compared to control cows. The incidence of subclinical mastitis for TMS and control cows was 10.4% and 8.0%, respectively (P = 0.005). The main effect of treatment on clinical mastitis was not significant but the interaction of treatment and parity was significant. For primiparous cows,the incidence of clinical mastitis was 11.8% and 15.6% for control and TMS cows, respectively(P = 0.33); for multiparous cows, the incidence of clinical mastitis for control and TMS cows was 25.4%and 19.7%, respectively (P = 0.03). Additionally, control cows had increased odds of stillbirth and endometritis (odds ratios 1.69 and 1.30, respectively). The incidence of endometritis was 34.2% and 28.6% for control and TMS cows, respectively (P = 0.039) but treatment had no effect on reproductive performance,milk production or other health traits. Further research is required to confirm these findings and to establish whether the response seen in this study was related to the supplementation of a particular mineral