Special Issue "Trace elements (minerals and vitamins) in non-ruminant livestock nutrition"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Danyel Bueno Dalto

Sherbrooke Research & Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sherbrooke, QC J1M 0C8, Canada
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Improvements in animal production over the last decades have been remarkable. Advances in animal reproduction, nutrition, health, welfare, and handling are reflected in better performance and productivity. However, these advances in intensive livestock production have also brought new challenges to, among others, animal nutritionists. This is mostly because the nutritional requirements have been changing over the years as a result of the use of more modern genetic lines of animals and production conditions. Surprisingly, most of the nutritional recommendations of micro-minerals and vitamins for non-ruminant animals were published more than 20 years ago. This is especially concerning for trace minerals because, although essential for livestock animals, they are environmentally classified as heavy metals. The lack of knowledge on the intestinal fate of these minerals in animals has limited the development of strategies to better control their bioavailability. As a consequence, a potential accumulation of these heavy metals in soils, with consequent contamination of ground and surface waters, is not unlikely. Nitrogen and phosphorous have been classified as the first identified nutrients of environmental concern, but trace minerals may become the next limiting factors for the expansion of livestock farming. It has also to be considered that some micro-minerals, such as zinc and copper, are used in supra-nutritional levels as an alternative to the prophylactic use of antibiotics in some species because of their intestinal bacteriostatic properties. Although efficient, over the last decades, evidence has suggested that this practice may increase the appearance of genes related to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and even of genes related to bacterial resistance to these minerals. For vitamins, heterogeneous recommendations can be found in the animal nutrition industry, and empiricism is still present mostly because of the limited scientific information on their overall metabolic fate. Research on the use of vitamins in animal nutrition has moved from prevention of deficiencies to maximization of growth and reproductive performance since the middle of the 20th century. However, little is known on the requirements to optimize energy metabolism, the establishment of the intestinal microbiome, and immune and antioxidant systems. Therefore, in the future, vitamins will possibly be considered not only as nutritional ingredients but also as functional nutrients to improve the overall robustness of animals and the nutritional quality of animal-derived products. The rise of new technologies together with the use of multidisciplinary approaches will help to fill the gaps of knowledge that are more apparent in the study of trace elements than in any other area of nutrition.

Dr. Danyel Bueno Dalto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • absorption
  • animal health
  • bioavailability
  • environment
  • livestock
  • micro-minerals
  • non-ruminant
  • nutrition
  • trace elements

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of the Partial Replacing of Inorganic Salts of Calcium, Zinc, Iron, and Copper with Amino Acid Complexes on Bone Development in Male Pheasants from Aviary Breeding
Animals 2019, 9(5), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050237
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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This study analyzed the effects of partial replacing of Ca, Fe, Zn, and Cu salts with glycine chelates on the measures of bones health in 16-week-old captive-reared male pheasants, allocated to one of the three experimental groups supplemented with Ca, Fe, Zn, and [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the effects of partial replacing of Ca, Fe, Zn, and Cu salts with glycine chelates on the measures of bones health in 16-week-old captive-reared male pheasants, allocated to one of the three experimental groups supplemented with Ca, Fe, Zn, and Cu in forms of inorganic salts (the control group) or groups receiving from the ninth week 25% and 50% of supplemented elements as glycine chelates. At the end of rearing birds receiving chelates were heavier (p < 0.001) and their tibia showed an increase of numerous mechanical parameters: yield and ultimate force (p = 0.028, p < 0.001, respectively), stiffness (p = 0.007), Young modulus (p < 0.001), compared to the control animals. The bones of birds receiving chelates in 50% were also heavier (p < 0.001) and longer (p = 0.014), with thinner cortical bone in midshaft (p = 0.027) and thicker proximal trabeculae (p < 0.001) compared to the control. While both doses of chelates increased mineral density in midshaft (p = 0.040), bone content of Cu and Zn decreased (p = 0.025, p < 0.001, respectively). The content of immature collagen in cancellous bone and articular cartilage increased in groups receiving chelates (p < 0.001, p = 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, glycine chelates probably enhanced development of the skeletal system in male pheasants as bones were denser and more resistant to mechanical damage. Full article
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