Zinc Supplementation - In Feed

Zinc can be supplemented to cattle as Zinc Oxide mixed into feed, either via the meal in in-shed feeders or on the feed pad as part of a mixed ration. 

Zinc Oxide is given at a rate of 3g/100kglw so as with water supplementation weighing a representative sample of your herd to give an accurate average is an important starting point. 

Dosing guide

1) Weigh herd to get a mob average 

2) Calculate daily requirement of Zinc based on 3g/100kgslw

Av liveweight (kg) /100 x 3 x number cows 

3) Factor in feed wastage 

Multiply above amount by 1.05 for in shed feeding or 1.1 for feed pad feeding to account for 5-10% wastage 

4) Tell you feed rep/order in Zinc 

5) Start feeding zinc once farm spore counts trend >30,000

6) Blood sample cattle 2-3 weeks after starting programme to see if your programme is working 

Common Pitfalls

  • Poor mixing of minerals throughout TMR – leads to insufficient distribution of zinc amongst cattle
  • Feed wastage not accounted for and thus underdosing
  • Cows that refuse meal in the shed – need to find another way to supplement these
  • Insufficient space on feedpad leading to some animals not receiving their full dose of mineral