http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G2081 http://agriculture.de/acms1/conf6/index.htm http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5057630 Minerals.... What You Need To Know We are finding that the "maps" that list the minerals in the land are turning out to be wrong. We are also finding that there are many factors that affect the absorption of minerals that are key to whether or not our animals can maintain the proper mineral balance. Even if you test your land and find that there is adequate minerals in the ground, the Ph balance and other factors can render the animals unable to breakdown or utlize the minerals. To understand how trace minerals affect immune competency, a brief review of immune system function is in order. The purpose of the immune system is to render harmless a foreign agent which may be a bacterium, protozoan, virus or noninfectious entity such a chemical or toxin. The immune system uses several methods to detoxify these foreign agents or antigens. COPPER Correct Copper levels in the diet has been shown to affect the resistance of sheep to bacterial infections. In certain studies Copper supplementation has shown to decrease mortality. Infections found mainly in the gastrointestinal tract and lungs, apparently were more damaging because of enhanced inflammatory reactions when the animals were copper deficient. Resistance to internal parasites is also compromised with copper deficiency. Infections also reduced plasma copper levels in the deficient animals, but not in the copper supplemented animals. In grazing areas with a parasite load, having adequate copper in the diet is a key to controlling the worm burden. It is widely recognized that feeder cattle from a copper deficient areas are less responsive to vaccinations for diseases associated with shipping fever compared to cattle that have adequate copper. Diets that are high in Molybdenum and sulfur can compromise the copper status of cattle by forming insoluble complexes in the rumen. Research has also shown that copper concentrations in organs such as the liver, spleen, thymus and lungs were substantially reduced by copper deficiency. This helps to explain why copper deficient cattle are at a greater risk for infection that are the copper supplemented cattle. Here are some signs and things that copper controls: 1. Anemia 2. Essential in the proper development of the central nervous system 3. Correct bone 4. Correct hair pigmentation 5. Difficulty conceiving kids (short heat cycles, not taking etc) 6. Abortions are not uncommon 7. Immune system 8. Lack of growth 9. Retained placenta 10.White or ghost circles around the eyes 11.Delayed shedding of hair coat, extreme hair loss/rough coat 12.Lowered libido in males 13 Slight hoof deformities 14.Bent legs in yearlings 15.Immune deficiency problems such as frequent bouts with pneumonia 16.Copper deficiency may play a major role in Floppy Kid Syndrome if the dams were copper-deficient, leaving the kids with only enough stored copper for a week to ten days after being born. Copper can be interfered with by minerals known as copper antagonists. Lead, iron, manganese, various sulfates, cadmium and molybdenum. This is secondary copper deficiency. Congenital Copper deficiency is the term used to describe the kid who did not receive sufficient copper in utero. Often born swaybacked, the kid stands unsteady or cannot stand, displays muscle tremors and head shaking, and may grind it's teeth. The kid can see, hear and sometimes can nurse , but he has low blood sugar and subnormal body temperature. Bone abnormalities are common, particularly in the long bones of the body. Complete recovery from congenital copper deficiency does not often happen because problems that occurred during fetal development may not be correctable. With intensive nursing, swaybacked kids may survive for days or weeks, but they usually do not live long. Insufficient weight gain, poor appetite and weight loss are seen in copper-deficient goats of growing age. Adults display more subtle signs of copper deficiency. They are generally unthrifty, anemic, poor milk producers and sometimes have diarrhea. But the most visible sign of copper deficiency in adults is loss of hair color or bald tail tips. Copper is essential for melanin production that causes hair pigmentation. Hair decoloration occurs when copper-containing enzymes is missing. IRON Iron is an interesting trace element in that either a deficiency or an excess can compromise the immune system. It has been well documented that serum irons fall early in response to bacterial and viral infections and rebounds quickly Keith recover. This is believed to be an important protective component of the acute phase response to infection. With Pasteurella Haemolytica, a major respiratory pathogen of cattle and sheep, the iron-regulated cell wall proteins have been identified as important vaccine components because of their antigenicity. If iron is in great excess, then the key proteins required to initiate recognition and antibody production may be masked. SELENIUM Selenium is recognized as an immune stimulant. Often Selenium and Vit E are supplemented together as they play similar roles. Selenium is a intercellular antioxidant. Vitamin E is the major antioxidant in cell membranes. When Both Selenium and Vitamin E are deficient, impairment of mitogenic stimulation occurs even earlier. Data suggest that optimum immune response required adequate levels of both selenium and Vitamin E. Oxidative stress may be the link that explains the interactions between animals stress, nutritional deficiencies and the decreased disease resistance often observed in the field. In cattle, the production of reactive oxygen metabolite's can be increased by the consumption of Maillard reaction products, mycotoxins, and endophyte -infected tall fescue. Unbound or "ill place" iron can increase the production of reactive oxygen metabolite's. Miller (1993) showed that inflammation, infections and environmental stressed may encourage the formation of ill-placed iron. Under these conditions the need for antioxidants is increased. If the animals are marginally deficient in selenium and or vit E, the responsiveness of their immune system is impaired. These animals are more likely to become diseased and or die, while animals with a strong immune system may show no symptoms. In the past few years there has been an effort to increase the energy density of animal diets. With calorie-dense diets animal performance is maximized, feed efficiency is improved and less animal waste is generated. Fat additions are a common means of increasing caloric density. However recent data suggest that adding certain types of fat can increase the requirements for antioxidant's. If not met the oxidant deficiency may increase an animals susceptibility to disease. Large-scale animal production units are constantly seeking ways to minimize stress and enhance immune function. Antibiotic feeding has been used in many production settings to control subclinical diseases. Although this has been effective in the past and the real dangers of continued use are still controversial, it is likely that this practice will become increasingly regulated in the future. Consequently, maximizing the immune status of the animal is critical to optimum health and longevity. Antioxidant concentrations in the diet, especially selenium and vitamin E , will receive increase emphasis. Feeding a trace mineralized salt and vitamin premix that have been properly fortified with selenium and vitamin E, respectively is essential to maintaining animal health and productivity. COBALT The only known animal requirement for cobalt is as a constitute of Vitamin B12, which has 4% Cobalt in it's chemical stature. This means that a cobalt deficiency is really a vitamin B12 deficiency. Microorganisms in the rumen are able to synthesize Vitamin B12 needs of ruminants if the diet is adequate in coblat. Normally, cobalt is not stored in the body in significant quantities. The small amount that is stored does not easily pass back into the rumen or intestinal tract where it can be used for vitamin B12 synthese. Therefore, ruminants must consume cobalt frequently in the diet for adequate B12 sythese. Injected cobalt is ineffective. The fact that injected cobalt is ineffective agrees with the recent research which suggest that cobalt deficiency in the rumen may be more important then a vitamin B12 deficiency at the tissue level. Traditionally, a breakdown in propionate metabolism at the point in the metabolic pathway where methymalony-CoA is converted to succinyl-CoA, was thought to be the reason for the depression in appetite. However, Kennedy, showed that there massive increases in succinate concentrations in the rumen within two weeks of when sheep were fed a cobalt deficient diet. When sheep were fed a diet with only 0.02 ppm cobalt, succinate accumulation in the rumen began in two days.. It has been well documented that changes in the rumen microbial population occurs in cobalt deficient ruminants. it now appears that a cobalt deficiency causes a vitamin B12 deficiency which inhibits propionate producing bacteria such a Selenomonas ruminantuim. University of Florida scientists reported in 1976 that 43% of the 140 forage samples taken throughout Latin American had cobalt levels of 0.1 ppm or less. Cobalt deficiency is most common in high rainfall areas where the soil is derived from acid igneous rocks such as granite and subject to leaching. Heavy liming of pastures has been associated with increased risk of cobalt deficiency. With current knowledge, the most convincing evidence of cobalt deficiency is determined by the response of the animal to cobalt feeding. The response is quick, with appetite increasing in about a week and weight gains quickly following. The remission of the anemia, however, occurs more slowly.