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Marginal Zinc Deficiency Affects Biochemical and Physiological Parameters in Beef Heifer Calves

  • Engle, T.E. (North Carolina State University, Department of Animal Science) ;
  • Nockels, C.F. (Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University) ;
  • Hossner, K.L. (Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University) ;
  • Kimberling, C.V. (Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Colorado State Univ.) ;
  • Toombs, R.E. (Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Colorado State Univ.) ;
  • Yemm, R.S. (Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University) ;
  • Weaber, D.L. (Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University) ;
  • Johnson, A.B. (ZINPRO Corporation)
  • Received : 1996.08.30
  • Accepted : 1997.01.17
  • Published : 1997.10.01

Abstract

A study detennined whether certain biochemical and physiological variables were altered during marginal Zn deficiency. Ten weaned crossbred Hereford Angus heifer calves, weighing $163{\pm}2kg$, were utilized. Five calves were fed a Zn - deficient (- Zn) brome-alfalfa hay diet containing 17 mg Zn/kg diet DM, and five calves were fed a Zn-adequate (+Zn) diet with 23 mg Zn/kg diet DM from $ZnSO_4$ added to the - Zn diet (total diet, 40 mg Zn/kg diet DM), for 32 d. At 21 d the - Zn calves had a reduction (p < .05) in feed efficiency. By 25 d, plasma Zn and alkaline phosphatase concentrations were reduced (p < .05) in the - Zn calves. Blood urea nitrogen, glucose, insulin, IGF-I, Cu plasma concentration and Zn and Cu concentrations of red blood cell (RBC) and liver were not altered (p > .05) by the - Zn diet through 25 d. In response to a single i. m. injection of dexamethasone (20 mg) on d 25, calves fed the two dietary Zn amounts showed no changes (p > .05) in plasma or RBC Zn and Cu concentrations, serum IGF-I, insulin, and glucose when measured at 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h after injection. In response to an intradermal injection of phytohemagglutinin on d 30, cell mediated immune (CMI) response was reduced (p < .05) in the - Zn calves. These observations indicate that during a marginal Zn deficiency in calves, there was a decrease in feed efficiency, plasma Zn, serum alkaline phosphatase, and CMI response.

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  1. Influence of Age, Sex, and Production Class on Liver Zinc Concentration in Calves vol.16, pp.4, 2004, https://doi.org/10.1177/104063870401600404