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The functional activity of zinc in the feeding of ruminants of economic importance 2. experimental deficiency in full grown ewes

, : The functional activity of zinc in the feeding of ruminants of economic importance 2. experimental deficiency in full grown ewes. Zeitschrift fuer Tierphysiologie Tierernaehrung und Futtermittelkunde 48(1-2): 36-46

A test was carried out on 2 groups of full-grown ewes. One subject out of each group was in its 1st pregnancy stage. The animals of the experimental group were fed 1 kg of Zn-deficient semisynthetic diet (3.9 mg/kg); the animals of the control group received the same diet with the addition of 50 mg of Zn/kg. All the ewes received a supplement of wheat straw containing a known amount of Zn (5.8 mg/kg). During the 18 wk, the health of the animals was controlled and the Zn and Cu contents in the blood and plasma, Zn content in the wool and the Zn and other minerals in some tissues were determined. Zn-deficiency negatively affected the health status of the pregnant ewe; the other animals endured the deficiency state without severe troubles. Zn-content in plasma was the most useful parameter for determining a deficiency condition. Zn-content in wool seemed to be an auxiliary diagnostic aid; the microelement content in several organ tissues appears to be useless.

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