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Open AccessArticle

Dietary Trace Mineral Level and Source Affect Fecal Bacterial Mineral Incorporation and Mineral Leaching Potential of Equine Feces

Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
Alltech Inc., Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition, Nicholasville, KY 40356, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7107;
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 4 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Equine Industry)
Minerals excreted in feces have the potential to leach or runoff to water-ways, negatively impacting water quality. This study examined the effect of dietary trace mineral levels, and their source, on the leaching potential of minerals from equine feces. Nine horses were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin Square, with three dietary treatments provided as pellets: no added trace minerals (CON), added inorganic trace minerals (ING), and added organic trace minerals (ORG). Supplemental trace minerals included Co, Cu, Mn, and Zn. Horses were allowed ad libitum access to forage and fed their treatment pellets for 16 days prior to fecal sample collection. Estimated dietary mineral intake exceeded requirements for supplemented minerals. Regardless of the source, adding dietary trace minerals increased the fecal leaching potential of Cu, Zn, and P (p < 0.05). More Co leached from ORG compared to ING, while Zn leached in greater amounts from ING compared to ORG (p < 0.05). Fecal bacterial Zn content was greater (p < 0.05) for ORG compared to ING. Negative correlations were observed between bacterial mineral content and leaching for several minerals. Supplementing trace minerals in forms that increase microbial incorporation may provide a strategy to control fecal mineral leaching. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial biomass; leaching; trace mineral bacterial biomass; leaching; trace mineral
MDPI and ACS Style

Fowler, A.L.; Brümmer-Holder, M.; Dawson, K.A. Dietary Trace Mineral Level and Source Affect Fecal Bacterial Mineral Incorporation and Mineral Leaching Potential of Equine Feces. Sustainability 2019, 11, 7107.

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