Acta Vet. Brno 2009, 78: 29-36

Microelement Supplementation in Dairy Cows by Mineral Lick

Štěpán Krys, Eva Lokajová, Aleš Podhorský, Leoš Pavlata

Clinic of Ruminant Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Czech Republic

Received December 21, 2007
Accepted November 12, 2008

The aim of this experiment was to verify the option of providing microelement supplementation to dairy cows in the dry period through supplemented mineral lick, and then to compare the content of microelements in the blood, colostrum and milk. The experiment was carried out on a farm with Czech Fleckvieh dairy cows. We formed an experimental group (E), supplied with mineral lick ad libitum enhanced with organic forms of microelements (Se, Zn, Cu, Mn) for four to five weeks before parturition and 1 week after parturition. The control group (C) did not receive any mineral lick. The use of mineral lick by cows was very uneven, its total consumption oscillated between 0 to 250 g of lick per animal per day. Lick feeding did not result in evidential increase of concentrations of monitored microelements in the cows’ blood, colostrum and milk. Only a tendency to increased concentrations of Se and Cu in the blood of group E of cows was observed; the average Se concentration increased by 60 μg l-1 (Cu by 9 μmol l-1), whereas in group C, Se increased only by 30 μg l-1 (Cu by 6 μg l-1). The concentration of microelements in colostrum after parturition dropped quickly. Significant drops were determined for Se, Cu and Zn on the first (for Mn on the second) day after parturition. Selenium concentration in the first colostrum was 5 times higher than in milk, Cu concentration 3 times higher, Zn concentration 4 times higher and Mn concentration 1.3 times higher.