Clear Selection
Clear Selection
Animal Performance
Antibiotic Free Production
Broiler Carcass Quality
Digital Dermatitis
Gut Health
Heat Stress
Transition Cow Management
Zinpro Value
Water Quality
This website uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and to improve your online experience. By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy.
< Return to Articles
3 minute read

Trace Mineral Research Shows Benefits for Gestating Cows

Lone cow in pasture
Dr. Jason Russell

Beef Nutritionist
Zinpro Corporation

A research study at Oregon State University shows that supplementing gestating beef cows diets with the performance trace minerals contained in Availa®4 can significantly enhance calf weaning weights while decreasing the prevalence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) during the feedlot growing phase.

Trace Mineral and Cow Gestation Research Overview

Zinpro Corporation partnered with Oregon State University to conduct a study that included 84 crossbred (Angus X Hereford) cows in the final trimester (last 94 days) of gestation. Cows were weighed, scored for body condition and evenly separated into 21 dry lot pens. The cows were all fed a forage-based diet formulated to meet requirements for energy, protein, macro minerals, selenium, iodine and vitamins.

Pens were assigned to one of three trace mineral treatments:

  • Control: no supplemental zinc, manganese, copper or cobalt added to the diet
  • Inorganic: diet supplemented with zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt from sulfates
  • Zinpro Performance Minerals® (ZPM): diet supplemented with 7 grams per head per day of zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt from Availa-4.

Note: The same amount of trace minerals was added to feed in the inorganic and ZPM treatments (360 mg Zn, 200 mg Mn, 125 mg Cu and 12.5 mg Co); only the source of trace mineral differed between treatments.

Availa-4 Helps Manage Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD)

Study results included improvements in weaning weight and at every subsequent weight, including hot carcass weight after harvest.

  • Calves born to cows fed Availa-4 had a 53-pound (24-kg) weaning weight advantage compared to those born to cows with no supplementation, and a 28-pound (13-kg) weight advantage compared to calves born to cows supplemented with inorganic trace minerals.
  • Calves born to cows fed Availa-4 also maintained this weight advantage through harvest with a 42-pound (19-kg) carcass weight advantage compared to those born to cows with no supplementation, and a 22-pound (10-kg) advantage to those born to cows supplemented with inorganic trace minerals.

Bar graph showing weaning weights of gestating cows.

Calves from cows fed with Availa-4 also had a significant reduction in Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) treatment rates in the feedlot growing phase of the study.

  • Twenty percent of the calves from cows fed Availa-4 were treated for BRD, compared to 42 percent of calves from cows with no supplementation and 59 percent of calves from cows fed inorganic trace minerals. It should be noted that treatment rates for control and inorganic treatments were not significantly different.
  • The reduction in BRD incidents reduces not only treatment cost for the producer but also labor and certainly minimizes stress on the animals.

Bar graph showing BRD treatment percentages.

The study was conducted as part of Zinpro’s Generational Nutrition® program which highlights how feeding performance trace minerals to gestating cows helps improve the wellness and performance of their offspring. Availa-4 is a unique combination of zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt that is research-proven to deliver strong performance benefits to the beef cow herd and a strong economic return to the cow/calf producer.

To learn more about the research-proven benefits of feeding Availa-4 to beef cows as part of the Generational Nutrition Program, download this Availa-4 research report or contact your Zinpro representative. To discover additional highlights from this research, download our Feeding the Beef Cow Availa-4 Improves Productivity and Economic Returns of the Calf research summary.

Zinpro Publishes 250th Peer-Reviewed Trace Mineral Research Paper

We have long been providing scientific proof that performance trace minerals outperform inorganic and other organic sources in animal production. In 2019, we published our 250th peer-reviewed trace mineral research paper. See why peer-reviewed research is important to us.

Read more >
Improve Feedlot Success With Beef Cattle Backgrounding Program

A beef cattle backgrounding program can help calves mitigate many stressors and other potential health issues. Discover how a successful backgrounding program with performance trace minerals can lead to further success in the feedlot.

Read more >
Foot Rot in Beef Cattle Is a Big Issue

Foot rot in beef cattle can lead to reduced feed intake and a subsequent decrease in growth and performance, as well as an increase in days on feed. Learn how to tell foot rot from digital dermatitis and how to minimize its impact with performance trace minerals.

Read more >