beef steers, sulfate water, mineral status, water quality treatments
Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of high-sulfate water on the performance, health, and mineral status of growing steers. The first experiment was conducted from June 20 to September 12, 2001, at the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Cottonwood Range and Livestock Research Station. Eighty-one crossbred steers (initial BW = 700 lb) were stratified by weight and randomly assigned to 12 dry-lot pens (6 or 7 steers/pen). Pens were then randomly assigned to one of three water quality treatments: 1) rural water (404 ppm sulfate), 2) well water (3087 ppm sulfate), and 3) stock dam water (3947ppm sulfate). Steers were fed a diet consisting of grass hay and pelleted wheat middlings. The second experiment was conducted from May 23 to September 4, 2002, at the SDSU Cottonwood Range and Livestock Research Station. Eighty-four crossbred steers (initial BW = 640 lb) were stratified by weight and randomly assigned to 12 dry-lot pens (7 steers/pen). Pens were then randomly assigned to one of four water quality treatments: 1) 1000, 2) 3000, 3) 5000, and 4) 7000 ppm total dissolved solids. These treatment levels were created by mixing water of varying quality from three different natural sources. Steers were fed a diet consisting of grass hay and pelleted wheat middlings. In both experiments, initial and final liver biopsy samples were collected. Liver samples were analyzed for copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn). In both experiments, initial liver Cu concentrations were not different between treatments. Provision of high-sulfate water reduced liver Cu concentrations in experiment 1 (P < 0.01) and 2 (P < 0.01). Liver Fe, Mn, Mo, and Zn were not affected by treatment. Results of these two experiments clearly demonstrate the dramatic impact that high-sulfate water can have on liver Cu stores in growing cattle.
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South Dakota State University
Copyright © 2005 South Dakota State University
Wright, Cody L. and Patterson, Hubert H., "Effect of High-sulfate Water on Trace Mineral Status of Beef Steers" (2005). South Dakota Beef Report, 2005. 18.