Functions, Deficiencies, Interrelationships, & Toxicities


Minerals & Vitamins

Macro Minerals

Sodium (Na) & Chlorine (Cl) - Salt - Normal Appetite

- Meat and Egg Production- Regulation of Body Fluids

- Nerve Transmission and Muscle Action

- Reduced Growth and efficiency of feed Utilisation in growing animals

- Reduced production and weight loss in adults- Lowered reproduction (infertility in Males and delayed sexual maturity in Females)

- Chicks on Cl-deficient diet exhibit nervous symptoms induced by sudden noise

- Salt Toxicity is accentuated with restriction of Water
Calcium (Ca) - Bone and Teeth Formation

- Blood Coagulation- Muscle Contraction- Nerve Function- Cell Permeability

- Egg Shell Formation

- Rickets in Young

- Bowed Legs in Chicks

- Osteomalacia in Adults

- Calcium/Phosphorous Ratio for non-ruminants usually 1:1 - 2:1

- Vitamin D required- Excess Ca reduces absorption and Utilisation of Zn

- Excess of Mg decreases Ca absorption

Phosphorous (P) - Essential for Life

- Promotes Bone Growth- Increases Energy Utilisation- Aids Reproduction- Builds Muscle Tissue

- Improves Feed Efficiency

- Rickets in young and Osteomalacia in Adults

- Stiffness- Poor Appetite- Urinary Problems- Slower Weight Gains- Reduced Conception in Hens- Reduced Meat and Egg Production

- Less Resistance to Disease

- Vitamin D required for P assimilation and Utilisation

- Excess of Ca and Mg causes decrease in absorption

Magnesium (Mg) - Essential for Normal Skeletal Development

- Reduced Stress- Aids Appetite

- Reduces Tissue Irritability

- Vasolidation, with resulting reduction in Blood Pressure

- Hyperirritability

- Slipped Tendons

- Excess upsets Ca and P metabolism
Potassium (K) - Required in Every Cell

- Muscle Activity- Promotes Feed Intake

- Reduces Stress

- Retarded Growth

- Unsteady Gait- General Muscle Weakness

- Abnormal Heart Beat

- Mg Deficiency results in failure to retain Potassium - resulting in K deficiency

- Excessive levels of K interfere with Mg absorption and result in Mg deficiency

Sulfur (S) - Essential for Life

- Promotes of Feed Intake- Essential for Meat and Egg Production

- As a component of coenzyme A is important in energy metabolism

- Retarded Growth

- Reduced Meat and Egg production

- Related to the Amino Acids cystine and methionine

- Related to Biotin, Thiamine and coenzyme A

Micro Minerals

Iodine (I) - Thyroid Gland Metabolism

- Regulation Rate of Body Metabolism and heat production

- Dead in Shell

- Delayed Hatch- Incomplete Abdominal Closure

- Decreased Performance

- Long Term chronic intake of large amounts of I reduces Thyroid uptake of I

- Marked specie differences exist in tolerances to high intakes of I

Iron (Fe) - A constituent of haemoglobin, the iron containing compound that transports Oxygen

- Cellular Oxidations

- Metabolism of bone marrow, spleen and liver

- Fe deficiency anaemia

- Retarded Growth

- Incorrect Feather pigmentaiton

- Related to haemoglobin

- Cu is required for proper Fe metabolism- Pyridoxine deficiency decreases absorption of Fe

- Excess interferes with phosphorous absorption

Manganese (Mn) - Essential for Normal Bone Growth and Reproduction

- Activator of Enzyme Systems involved in oxidative phosphorylation, amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, fatty acid synthesis and cholesterol metabolism.

- Retarded Growth

- Lameness, Shortening and Bowing of Legs- Enlarged Joints- Testicle degeneration of Males- Defective ovulation of Females- Slipped Tendons- Peak Death prior to Hatch

- Edema, malformations and abnormal feathering

- Excess of Ca and P decreases absorption
Chromium (Cr) - Insulin like effect on glucose metabolism   -Excess Chromium causes reduced growth and poor egg quality.
Cobalt (Co) - A component of Vitamin B12   -Excess Cobalt causes reduced growth.
Copper (Cu)

- Required for hemoglobin formation

- Essential in Enzyme systems- Feather Development and Pigmentation - Bone Development- Reproduction

- Shell Quality

- Nervous symptoms (Ataxie)

- Early Embryo Death- Lameness and Swelling of Joints- High incidence of Bone Fractures- Weak Blood Vessels (aortic ruptures)- Incorrect Feather Pigmentation

- Enlarged Heart

- Excess of molybdenum in the presence of Sulfate causes a condition that can be cured by administering Copper

- Excess of Copper is toxic

Fluorine (F)   - Excesses is more of a concern than deficiency - High dietary Ca depresses F uptake of bone

- F is a cumulative poison

-Low quality phosphorus sources may contain unacceptable levels of F.

Molybdenum (Mo) - Uric Acid Formation - Toxic levels more of a concern than deficiency - Mo is related to uric acid formation in Poultry and microbial action in ruminants

- Toxic levels of Mo interfere with copper metabolism

Selenium (Se) - Metabolism of Liver, Kidneys and Muscles

- Interacts with Vitamin E absorption and retention

- Prevents degeneration and fibrosis of the pancreas in chicks

- Nutritional Muscular Dystrophy in Lambs and Calves

- White Muscle Disease- Exudative diatheses in Poultry- Liver Necrosis in Pigs - Mulberry Heart- Reduction in Egg Production and hatchability- High incidence of early Embryonic Death

- Deformities Common, including lack of eyes and deformed wings and feet

- Related to Vitamin E Absorption
Silicon (Si) - Mineralisation process in Bones   - Adverse affects from high Si intake rather than Si deficiency
Zinc (Zn) - Bone and Feather Development

- Component of several enzymes including carbonic anhydrase

- Required for normal protein synthesis and metabolism

- Loss of Appetite

- Stunted Growth- Poor Feather Development- Rough and Thickened Skin- Scaliness on Feed- Hock Enlargement- Slipped Tendons- Shortening and thickening of leg bones- Egg Yield and Hatchability

- Feather condition of Offspring

- Excess of Ca reduces absorption and utilisation of Zn

- Excess of Zn interferes with Cu metabolism and may cause anaemia

Vitamins - Fat Soluble

Fat Soluble

Vitamin A - Bone Growth

- Night Vision- Normal Function of Genital System and Fertility- Healthy Tissue

- Disease Resistance

- Lesions around the eyes, eyelids stuck together

- Poor Egg Production- Poor Hatchability- Sterility in Males and Females- Stunted Growth- Weight Loss and Loss of Appetite- Nervous incoordination

- Weak Chicks

- Easily Destroyed by oxidation, therefore easily destroyed in processing and storing

- Functions with Calcium, Phosphorous and Magnesium

Vitamin D3 - Aids in assimilation and utilisation of Calcium and Phosphorous

- Essential for normal bone growth including the bones of the fetus

- Appetite and Feed Efficiency

- Rickets in Young

- Osteomalacia in Adults- Reduced Growth- Leg Deformities - Poor Egg Shells- Lowered Hatchability- High Sickness Susceptibility- Defective or Soft Beak in Chicks

- Incorrect Feather Pigmentation

- Needs to be in adequate amounts to act as a carrier for Calcium and Phosphorous
Vitamin E - Works with Selenium

- Antioxidant- Prevents Tissue Destruction in the Body- Muscle Structure- Aids in Conception and Reproduction

- Improves Weight Gains and Feed Efficiency

- Muscular Dystrophy

- White Muscle Disease- Encephalomalacia (Crazy Chick Disease)- Exudative diathesis- Poor Hatchability- High Chick Mortality

- Sudden Death

- Utilization of Vitamin E is dependent on adequate Selenium
Vitamin K - Essential for prothrombin formation

- Blood Coagulation

- Prolonged Blood Clotting Time

- Generalised Haemorrhages

- High Embryonic Mortality


Vitamins - Water Soluble

Water Soluble

Vitamin B12 - Coenzyme in several enzyme systems

- Required for Protein Formation- Aids in the prevention of Anaemia

- Eliminates the need for Animal Protein in the Ration

- Retarded Growth

- Fail to Hatch Eggs- Anaemia

- Slipped Tendon in Chicks

- Related to Folic Acid for metabolism

- Works with Co

Biotin - Component of several enzyme systems

- Fatty Acid Synthesis

- Protein Synthesis

- Crusting and Scab formation around eyes and beak

- Bottoms of Feet rough with haemorrhagic cracks- Curled toes

- Low Hatchability

Choline - Involved in Nerve Impulses

- A component of phospholipids- Donor of methyl groups

- Mobilisation of Body Fat through the liver

- Fatty Liver

- Slipped Tendon

- Kidney Haemorrhaging

- Increased deficiency symptoms associated with low Protein Levels

- Works with Niacin

Folic Acid (Folacin) - Related to B12 Metabolism

- Metabolic reactions involving incorporation of single carbon units into larger molecules

- Formation of erythrocytes and Leucocytes

- Poor Growth

- Macrocytic Anaemia- Late Embryonic Death- Beak Deformities- Slipped Tendon- Frizzled and Rough Feathering- Incorrect Pigmentation

- Poor Egg Production

Inositol Not Known - Spectacled Eye Appearance in Rats - Synthesized in Intestines
Niacin (nicotinic acid) - Constituent of coenzymes

- Hydrogen Transport- Energy Metabolism- Egg Production- Yield and Hatchability

- Fat Mobilisation through the Liver

- Retarded Growth

- Reduced Appetite- Spectacled Eye- Scaliness on Feet- Frizzled and Rough Feathering- Fatty Liver- Hock Enlargement- Bowed Legs

- Curled Toes

- Niacin available in most cereal grains is not available to simple stomached animals

- Works with Choline

Pantothenic Acid - Component of coenzyme A

- Required for Energy metabolism- Plumage Quality- Viability of Offspring- Egg Production

- Hatchability

- Retarded Growth

- Poor Feathers- Enteritis- Dermatitis- Embryonic Death- Crusting and Scab Formation around Eyes and Beak

- Bottoms of Feet Rough with Haemorrhagic Cracks

- Grain is very deficient in Pantothenic Acid

- Of all the B Vitamins it is most likely to be deficient in Dry Lot conditions

Parmino-benzoic Acid Not Clearly Established Not Demonstrated in Animals Abundantly synthesised in the intestines
Pyridoxine (B6) - Coenzyme in protein and nitrogen metabolism

- Involved in Red Blood Cell Formation

- Important in endocrine System

- Convulsions

- Retarded Growth- Abnormal Feathering

- Reduced Egg Laying and Hatchability

Riboflavin (B2) - Promotes Growth Functions as a constituent of several enzyme systems

- Important in Carbohydrate and Amino Acid metabolism

- Retarded Growth

- Curley Toes- Low Hatchability- High Embryonic Mortality during 3rd and 4th Week of Incubation- Low Food Conversion Rate

- Poor Chick Quality

- Grains poor source

- Many common rations are borderline or deficient.

Thiamine (B1) - Coenzyme in Energy Metabolism

- Promotes Appetite and Growth- Required for Normal Carbohydrate Metabolism- Aids Reproduction

- Aids Hatchability

- Reduced Appetite

- Weight Loss- Cardiovascular Disturbances- Lowered Body Temperature- Polyneuritis in Chicks (retraction of the head)

- Reduced Egg Production in Hens

Vitamin C - Callagen Formation

- Formation of the intercellular substances of the teeth, bones and soft tissue

- Increases resistence to infection

- No problems observed relating to Ostrich - Ordinary farm rations and body synthesis provide adequate Vitamin C

Good Nutrition Is The Correct Path To Profitability!