Function: Zinc (Zn) is present in the body as a component of more than 100 enzymzes including many metalloenzymes.

Function:

Zinc (Zn) is present in the body as a component of more than 100 enzymzes including many metalloenzymes. Zn is crucial for normal growth and maturation and it plays an important role in neural activity.

Sources:

Many feedstuffs contain 15 – 40 mg Zn/kg dry matter. Inorganic salts.

Daily requirements (NRC, 2007):

40 mg Zn/kg dietary dry matter (DM). Max: 500 mg Zn/kg ration.

N.B. 500 kg horse eats approximately 2% of its body weight per day i.e. 10kg dietary DM/day.

Deficiency:

Inappetence, reduced growth rate, parakeratosis, alopecia, developmental orthopaedic disease, impaired reproduction.

Excess:

Enlarged epiphyses (region of bone growth adjacent to joints), stiffness of gait, lameness, osteochondrosis, weight loss.

When problems may occur?

  • Copper deficiency induced by zinc toxicosis.
  • Calcium deficiency induced by zinc deficiency.
  • Foals managed on grassland contaminated with industrial polluants (e.g. zinc, cadmium) have an increased prevalence of osteochondrosis.

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