Ano 2005 - Volume 25, Número 3

Princípios de suplementação mineral em ruminantes, p.195-200

Peixoto P.V., Malafaia P., Barbosa J.D. & Tokarnia C.H. 2005. [Principles of mineral supplementation in ruminants.] Princípios de suplementação mineral em ruminantes. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira 25(3):195-200. Depto Nutrição Animal e Pastagem, Instituto de Zootecnia, UFRRJ, Km 47, Seropédica, RJ 23890-000, Brazil. E-mail:

Although there is solid knowledge on mineral deficiencies and their consequences on health and productivity of cattle in Brazil, paradoxically, those informations, most of the time, are not used by professionals of the agricultural sciences, who persist in stimulating the widespread use of the so-called complete mineral mixtures. The deficiency of many minerals included in these supplements, as iron, chrome, sulfur, and others, do not occur under natural conditions or only in rare and very particular situations. The present paper deals with the misunderstandings and problems related to traditional mineral supplementation and discusses the main aspects of the so-called selective mineral supplementation that is based in supplying exclusively the deficient mineral(s) and these only in necessary amounts. This procedure can result in expressive economy (sometimes up to 700%) when compared with the commercial mineral supplementation usually employed. According to several estimates, mineral supplementation can account for 20 to 30% of the total cost of beef cattle production on tropical pastures. A reversion assay, in which a group of cattle receives the commercial mineral mixture routinely used on the farm, and another group which receives the selective supplement, is the best option for the elucidation of positive or negative effects between the two possibilities of mineral supplementation on a specific farm. Trough this assay, the effects of the two compositions of mineral supplements can be investigated rationally over a sufficient period of time, with no risks and minimal possibilities of economic losses.
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