Effects of supplemental molybdenum on animal performance, liver copper concentrations, ruminal hydrogen sulfide concentrations, and the appearance of sulfur and molybdenum toxicity in steers receiving fiber-based diets
Kessler, K.L.; Olson, K.C.; Wright, C.L.; Austin, K.J.; Johnson, P.S.; Cammack, K.M.
Journal of Animal Science 90(13): 5005-5012
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812 PMID: 22871931 DOI: 10.2527/jas.2011-4453
Poor performance and S-induced polioencephalomalacia (sPEM) have been observed in ruminant livestock in high-S drinking water regions. No gainful method of removing S from drinking water is available and therefore a feed supplement that negates the effects of high-S water is needed. Our objective was to determine if supplementing Mo improves health and performance of steers administered a high-fiber diet and high-S drinking water. We hypothesized that if the supplemental Mo adequately bound excess S in the rumen, it would not be available at toxic concentrations. Yearling steers (n = 96; 260.0 ± 1.3 kg BW) were stratified by pretrial BW into 12 feedlot pens (n = 8 steers per pen). One of 3 treatments, low-S water (LS; 375 mg SO4/L), high-S water (HS; 2,218 mg SO4/L), or high-S water plus Mo (HSMO; 2,218 mg SO4/L; 187.5 mg Mo/kg DM), were randomly assigned to pens within 4 blocks for a 56-d trial. Body weights were recorded on d –2, –1, 29, 56, and 57, ruminal H2S concentrations were measured by rumenocentesis on d –1, 29, and 57, and liver biopsies were performed on d –1 and 57. Performance data were analyzed over the 56-d trial period (overall) as well as over 2 periods: Period 1 (d 0 to d 28) and Period 2 (d 29 to d 56). One case of sPEM was confirmed by the presence of cortical lesions in the HS treatment group. Daily DMI and ADG were affected by treatment and period (P < 0.001) main effects. The LS steers had the greatest (P < 0.05) DMI followed by HS and HSMO steers, respectively. Similar results were observed for ADG. Daily water intake was affected (P < 0.001) by period only, with greater daily water intake in Period 2 than Period Change in hepatic concentrations of Cu, Fe, and Mo over the course of the trial were all affected (P < 0.001) by treatment. Hepatic Cu increased from d 1 to 57 in LS and HS steers but was depleted in HSMO steers. Hepatic Fe and Mo increased in HSMO steers only. Ruminal H2S concentrations were affected by treatment (P < 0.021), with greater H2S concentrations in HSMO compared with LS and HS steers. Signs of Mo toxicity such as severe diarrhea, loss of body condition, anorexia, changes in hair color, and stiffness in joints were observed in the Mo supplemented steers. These results indicate that added dietary Mo does not adequately bind excess S in the rumen, causing aggravated toxic effects from potentially both the high dietary S and Mo.