Acta Vet. Brno 2006, 75: 485-488

Zinc and Copper Status of Beef Cattle in the Šumava Region, Czech Republic

P. Slavík1, J. Illek2, T. Zelený3

1Department of Animal Nutrition
2Clinic of Ruminant Diseases, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
3Veterinary Centre, Sušice, Czech Republic

Received February 7, 2006
Accepted June 30, 2006

The aim of the study was to ascertain copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) status in beef cattle in different stages of production pastured in a mountainous area with known soil deficiency of Zn and Cu. Data from seven beef herds (n = 100) were evaluated, each time for two production stages (cows in late pregnancy and heifers). Serum levels of zinc and copper were measured. Mean concentrations of Zn and Cu were 16.34+/-3.52 μmol l-1 and 11.17 +/-3.27 μmol l-1, respectively. Mean values measured in the heifers (n = 50) were 16.3 +/-3.58 μmol l-1 for zinc and 11.65 +/-3.32 μmol l-1 for copper. In the cows in late pregnancy (n = 50), serum concentrations of Zn and Cu were 16.37 +/- 3.46 μmol l-1 and 10.68 +/-3.07 μmol l-1, respectively. Neither for copper (p < 0.59) nor for zinc (p < 0.99) significant differences were demonstrated between cows in late pregnancy and heifers. Moreover, analysis of their feed revealed that the content of these minerals was half of the recommended levels. Therefore, to achieve an adequate zinc status, both cattle categories pastured in this area should have access to mineral licks.


cattle, zinc, copper, beef cattle.