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Performance Trace Minerals Help Combat Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis Virus (IBRV)

4 minute read

The economic losses related to bovine respiratory disease (BRD) have been estimated at $800 to $900 million annually, plus an additional loss of $110 million annually in processing sick animals. In addition, research shows that 80 percent of all deaths of calves entering commercial feed yards in the United States can be attributed to BRD.

These are significant losses to the beef cattle industry and individual producers. Feeding performance trace minerals can help boost beef cattle resistance and immune response to infections that lead to bovine respiratory disease.

Performance Trace Minerals Help Manage the Inflammatory Response

Beef producers need to pay close attention to the immune system. Respiratory infections can destroy the epithelial lining of the upper respiratory system, allowing pathogens to access the lower respiratory system. When this occurs, it can result in a prolonged inflammatory response that may lead to reduced weight gain, lower feed conversion and increased mortality.

To help better understand how trace minerals can help manage the inflammatory response to disease and help fight IBRV, Zinpro worked with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and North Carolina State University to determine the effect of performance trace minerals in preventing IBRV infections.

Forty steer calves were included in the study. The dams of the steers in the study were sorted into two groups (two replicates per group) by body weight and assigned to one of two mineral supplements containing zinc and manganese from Zinpro Performance Minerals or inorganic zinc and manganese from 100 days pre-partum to weaning.

The calves were born in January and weaned in August at an average body weight of 586 pounds (266 kg) and shipped 1,553 miles (2500 km) from Raleigh, North Carolina to the Texas A&M University research feedlot at Bushland, Texas.

At the feedlot, the calves were not vaccinated for IBRV and remained in the same mineral source treatment as assigned to their dams at pregnancy. Calves received the following treatments delivered in a complete diet for 28 days (stress phase), then subsequently were challenged with a Cooper’s strain of IBRV (IBRV phase) on day 29.

Zinpro Performance Minerals: 50 ppm Zn and 40 ppm Mn

Inorganic trace minerals: 50 ppm Zn and 40 ppm Mn

Performance Trace Minerals: Reduce the Impact of Stress

While the birth weight of the steers in the performance trace minerals and inorganic trace mineral research groups did not differ, upon arriving at the feedlot the steers from dams fed performance trace minerals were 37 pounds (17 kg) heavier than the steers in the inorganic trace mineral group. In addition, the steers fed performance trace minerals were 8.7 percent heavier by day 28 post-transit. This means the steers fed performance trace minerals had a higher dry matter intake (DMI) of 18.7 pounds (8.5 kg) compared to 16.7 pounds (7.6 kg) at the end of the first 28 days in the feedlot. This demonstrates that the performance trace minerals received via the dam helped the steers better handle the stress of shipping and adjusting to a new environment.

Performance Trace Minerals: Limit the Impact of IBRV Challenge

During the IBRV challenge, steers fed performance trace minerals experienced a 20 percent reduction in dry matter intake, while the steers fed the inorganic trace minerals experienced a 49.9 percent drop in dry matter intake. In addition, steers fed performance trace minerals had a lower decline in overall body weight — losing body weight on only six days compared to 10 days for the steers fed inorganic trace minerals. Steers fed performance trace minerals also exhibited lower rectal temperatures during the IBRV challenge.

Feeding Zinpro Performance Minerals, including ZINPRO® zinc methioni and Zinpro® manganese, during the last trimester of gestation and following weaning can help limit the impact of stress and bovine respiratory disease challenges.

To learn more about managing Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis Virus (IBRV) by feeding Zinpro Performance Minerals, contact a Zinpro representative today.