Minerals are essential for daily biological functions of all livestock, although specie requirements of specific minerals may vary. When minerals are deficient, the animal may suffer from decreased health, feed efficiency, gain, and reproductive characteristics. Minerals are required by the animal in two forms, macro and trace (micro). Macro minerals are required in relatively large amounts (usually expressed in grams per day or a percentage of the diet). Examples of common macro minerals found on tags are: Calcium (Ca), Phosphorus (P), Salt (NaCl), Magnesium (Mg), and Potassium (K). Trace (micro) minerals are required in small amounts (expressed in parts per million [ppm] or milligrams per kilogram of body weight). Although trace minerals are found in very small amounts, the balance is crucial for everyday metabolic functions of the animal. Examples of common trace minerals include: Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu), Selenium (Se), Iodine (I), and Manganese (Mn).

Mineral uptake and absorption occurs in the small intestine of the animal. This is where the whole process of mineral utilization begins. If there is not an efficient uptake of the mineral in the small intestine, most of the mineral will be unavailable for the animal and will be found in the waste of the animal. There are two forms of trace minerals: Inorganic and organic. Most mineral manufacturers utilize the inorganic form of trace minerals since they are the cheapest form of trace minerals.

Inorganic minerals can be identified by the term “oxide,” “chloride,” or “sulfate” following the mineral name, with oxide being the least absorbed form of mineral. These forms are not recognized by the intestinal machinery for optimal absorption. Studies have shown that under stress conditions, minerals (especially inorganic) are not absorbed as effectively as a non-stressed animal. This could possibly cause a deficiency to the animal. One way to combat high-stress periods is to supply the animal with a chelated form of the mineral.

Chelated minerals are bound to organic compounds (such as amino acids or proteins). This is what makes the price slightly higher than inorganic minerals. However, chelated minerals allow for better absorption and overall utilization when compared to inorganic minerals. Chelated minerals can be recognized by the terms “proteinate or amino acid chelate” following the mineral. Under certain conditions, such as stress of calving, lactating, or breeding, inorganic mineral may not be absorbed to provide the animal with adequate concentrations. This is where chelated minerals provide the maximal benefit while being cost effective.

Benefits of feeding chelated minerals include:

  1. 25% increase in more viable embryos per flush
  2. Increased conception rate
  3. Fewer services per conception
  4. Promotion of increased testicular size and development
  5. Improved semen quality
  6. Stronger immune system

Kay Dee Feed Company provides the necessary chelated minerals blended with readily available inorganics at a cost-effective price.