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Symptoms of typical mineral deficiencies in livestock

Symptoms of typical mineral deficiencies in livestock

Mineral Deficiency Guide

If your livestock are experiencing any of the symptoms below, this could be related to a mineral deficiency within their diet.

What symptoms are your livestock demonstrating?

Poor bone growth and rickets in young stock

Mineral Needed: Calcium (Ca)
Function: For growth and maintenance of bones and teeth. Bones act as a reserve.

Poor bone growth and decreased appetite in extreme cases

Mineral Needed: Phosphorus (P)
Function: Needed with calcium in bones. Present in soft tissues and body fluids


Mineral Needed: Magnesium (Mg)
Function: Essential for enzyme systems and metabolism as well as bone structure

Reduced appetite and stunted growth

Mineral Needed: Sodium (Na)
Function: Needed in blood and other body fluids. Stimulates saliva to maintain appetite


Mineral Needed: Iron (Fe)
Function: Iron is needed for a high haemoglobin level for proper oxygen transport and endurance

Poor health and performance from lack of Vitamin B12

Mineral Needed: Cobalt (Co)
Function: Cobalt is needed to make Vitamin B12 in the gut

Anaemia and poor growth

Mineral Needed: Copper (Cu)
Function: Involved in enzyme systems

Reproductive problems

Mineral Needed: Iodine (I)
Function: Needed for thyroid which controls basic metabolism

Low conception rates

Mineral Needed: Manganese (Mn)
Function: Needed for enzymes and bone formation

Unthriftiness and white muscle disease in foals. Muscles tying up

Mineral Needed: Selenium (Se)
Function: Affects muscle development

Poor condition of skin, hair and hooves

Mineral Needed: Zinc (Zn)
Function: Used in enzyme systems throughout the body

The above is intended as a basic guide only. If you are in any doubt about the health of your animals, you should consult a veterinary surgeon.

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