There’s no doubt about how vitamins A, D, and E are crucial components of rations for beef cattle.
Vitamin A plays a critical position in maintaining healthy maintenance of eyes, skin, and the linings of the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive tracts. It’s important for proper functioning of the kidneys and normal growth of teeth, bones and nerve tissue.
Vitamin A is available in the carotene in green and yellow vegetables.
Vitamin D is crucial to the digestive tract and the health of bones. Animals develop vitamin D when they’re exposed to sunlight.
Green leafy forages and whole grains provide vitamin E. While an animal’s want for vitamin E is crucial, it’s not well understood.
While essential to the livestock diet, possible issues stemming from deficiencies in one or more of these three vitamins are likely to happen occasionally. Supplementation may be useful; however, it isn’t always a silver bullet.
Early indicators of deficiencies in vitamin A are night blindness, lack of urge for food, dull eyes, slowed gains, and reduced feed efficiency. Weak animals can have lower fertility and lowered calving percentages.
Since vitamin A is housed in the liver, symptoms of a deficient daily consumption may not express themselves about 100 days, notes Bailey. Rather than ready for the telltale indicators of a deficiency to signal the requirement for vitamin supplementation, he suggests erring on the side of caution and says feeding a vitamin-fortified mineral supplement to cattle year-round.
Cattle taking a diet of various green forages year-round may probably have little need for supplementation in some settings.