The significance of
selected minerals

Kuh

No animal can live without minerals. The significance of this has only been recognized by modern science for around 100 years. Since this time, scientists and animal nutritionists have been trying to supplement the daily natural feed for livestock and wild animals in a way that guarantees optimum performance and robust health.

It is very difficult to determine the exact mineral requirements of an individual animal, due to various basic feeds and concentrated feedstuffs, required performance but also the respective individual inclination.

However, considerable research has been conducted on numerous principle effects of single elements on the organism of the animal.

Major elements


Sodium stabilizes, among other things, the osmotic pressure in the cells, it regulates the water-balance and plays a major role for the impulse transmission in the nerve tissue and the arousal of the muscle fibres. Together with chlorine it is indispensable for regulation of the acid/alkaline balance.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Licking addiction
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Reduced performance

Magnesium is important for the function of muscles and nerves and for bone structure. Moreover, it activates numerous enzymes vital to the physical energy metabolism.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Cramps all the way to hypomagnesaemia (pasture disease)
  • Restlessness and stress
  • Weight loss

Calcium plays a major role in neural transmissions and is a significant component of the bone structure. It also plays an important role in forming milk and is a valuable component of the milk. It also plays an important role in blood clotting.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Disorders in bone formation
  • Metabolic disorders
Major elements exist in concentrations of > 50 mg/kg body mass of the animal.

Trace elements


Manganese is necessary for the mineral and fat metabolism. It activates or is part of numerous enzymes involved in metabolism processes.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Abnormal development of the skeleton
  • Neurological disorders
  • Reduced fertility
  • Reduced growth

Zinc is an essential component of numerous proteins. It has a very important function for the structure and regeneration of the skin. It is also indispensible for an intact immune system.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Delay in wound healing
  • Hair loss
  • Increased disposition for infections
  • Reduced food-intake

Iodine is indispensable for the thyroid function and therefore also for the control of numerous metabolic processes. It increases all energy production processes.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Goitre formation
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malfunctions of fertility
  • Reduced basal metabolic rate

Copper has an important function for the formation of nerves, blood, connective tissue and bones. It is indispensible for iron metabolism. When feeding, attention is to be paid to the fact that sheep can only discharge a limited amount of copper via the gall bladder.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Disorder of the central nervous system
  • Increased brittleness of the collagenous skeleton
  • Iron utilization disorders
  • Pigmentogenesis disorders

Selenium is a component of many proteins. It is important for anti-oxidative processes and iodine metabolism. As so-called “radical catcher” selenium is indispensable for the organism of the animals.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Fertility disorders
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced growth
  • Weak newborns
Trace elements exist in concentrations of < 50mg/kg body mass of the animal.

K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH