Macromineral and trace element supply in sheep and goats in Austria

https://doi.org/10.17221/243/2015-VETMEDCitation:Schweinzer V., Iwersen M., Drillich M., Wittek T., Tichy A., Mueller A., Krametter-Froetscher R. (2017): Macromineral and trace element supply in sheep and goats in Austria. Veterinarni Medicina, 62: 62-73.
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The aim of this study was to determine the supply of 25 different macrominerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium) and trace elements (aluminium, arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, cobalt, copper, iron, lithium, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silicon, strontium, sulphur, thallium, tin, titanium, uranium, zinc), and to ascertain the presence of any over- or undersupplies. As a second objective, we undertook a comparison of our results with existing reference values from selected literature and from laboratory analyses, with the aim of classifying the obtained results into the following categories: ‘deficiency’, ‘adequate’ and ‘oversupply’. For the study, 16 sheep and four goat farms located in the Austrian states of Upper Austria (n = 12), Carinthia (n = 6) and Vorarlberg (n = 2) were selected. From every farm, five serum blood samples were obtained by puncturing the vena jugularis to evaluate the macromineral and trace element status in clinically sound female sheep (n = 80; 12 different breeds) and female goats (n = 20; Saanen goats, Boer goats). The animals were kept for dairy farming (milking and/or meat production) or for landscaping. The mean age of both sheep and goats was 3.1 years (sheep: min. 0.5, max. 10; goats: min. 1, max. 5); 44% of the studied animals were lactating and 22% were pregnant at the time of sampling. The serum blood samples were sent to a laboratory and analysed using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. In summary, the supply with macrominerals and trace elements compared with reference values from the laboratory was adequate for As, Ca, Fe and Mg in sheep and for As, Ca, Cu, K, Mg and Se in goats. Although all animals in our study were examined for clinical signs of disease by the local veterinarian, oversupplies in sheep for the elements K and Mo and in goats for Fe as well as undersupplies in sheep and goats for Zn could be found in the serum of the studied animals.
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