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Copper, zinc, and iron concentrations in blood serum and diet of dairy cattle on semi-industrial farms in central Iran


The aim of this study was to evaluate the blood serum and diet concentrations of copper, zinc, and iron in Holstein dairy cattle kept under semi-industrial farming in Isfahan province, central Iran. Moreover, the effects of season, pregnancy, and daily milk yield on serum Cu, Zn, and Fe concentrations were also evaluated. The study was carried out on 12 semi-industrial Holstein dairy cattle farms. A total of 120 blood serum samples (60 in each season) and 24 diet samples (12 in each season) were collected in the summer and winter. The Cu, Fe, and Zn contents were assessed in samples using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. In the summer, the mean concentrations of Cu and Fe in serum samples were lower and higher than the critical level, respectively (P < 0.05). In total diet samples, the mean concentrations of Zn were significantly higher than critical level (P < 0.05). In summer, winter, and total diet samples, the mean concentrations of Fe were significantly higher than critical level (P < 0.05). The serum Cu and Zn concentrations were significantly higher in the winter than those determined in the summer (P < 0.05). The serum Cu concentrations were significantly higher in nonpregnant than those in pregnant dairy cattle (P < 0.05). No significant difference was observed in serum Cu, Zn, and Fe concentrations of dairy cattle in different daily milk yield groups. It can be concluded that Holstein dairy cattle reared under semi-industrial dairy farming were deficient in serum Cu concentrations, especially in summer. Further, high level of Fe in blood serum might be due to feeding of cattle with diet containing excess quantity of Fe.

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The authors are thankful to Animal Science Research Institute of Iran and Isfahan Research Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources for funding the research and technical support.

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Correspondence to Vahid Noaman.

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Noaman, V., Rasti, M., Ranjbari, A.R. et al. Copper, zinc, and iron concentrations in blood serum and diet of dairy cattle on semi-industrial farms in central Iran. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 407–411 (2012).

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  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Blood serum
  • Diet
  • Dairy cattle