Mineral status of Boran Zebu cattle in semi-arid rangelands of southern Ethiopia and the effects of supplementary phosphorus and copper
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Tropical Agriculture;68(4): 325-330
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/29687
Reports a study conducted in the southern rangelands of Ethiopia, to evaluate the mineral status of Boran zebu cattle and their responses to supplementary P and Cu. Forages were marginal-to-deficient in Na, P and Cu probably due to the very low levels of these elements in the soil. Results indicate that supplementary P as bonemeal and injectable Cu showed no effect on the serum mineral concentrations and conditions of 2-3 year-old male cattle, and animals which received supplementary Cu but not P gained 10 kg bodyweight more than those not supplemented. No statistical differences were observed in blood mineral content due to physiological status. Consumption of saline waters suppressed mineral supplement intake shows that cattle supplementation with limiting mineral nutrients in pasture such as Na, P and Cu, under poor nutritional status, may be of no benefit unless limiting nutrients such as protein and low forage supply are rectified.