Vitamin A Supplementation

Apr 13, 2023

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble compound required by animals for normal growth and development. Green, growing plants provide carotenoids which many animals, including ruminants, can convert in their body to Vitamin A. Consequently, Vitamin A supplementation is critical for cattle that do not have access to growing forages because they are either fed in confinement or due to season of the year. Grazing cattle can store Vitamin A in the liver for times when carotene or vitamin A intake is inadequate to meet requirements.

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms can appear generalized and could be confused with other nutrition or health problems. For example, deficient animals will have poor appetites and grow slowly, have a loss of fertility, and appear unthrifty orunhealthy. Vitamin A is involved in three general functions in the body: vision, growth and maintenance of epithelial tissue, and bone development. The specific Vitamin A deficiency symptoms, therefore, are related to one of these generalized functions. For example, night blindness is the classic deficiency symptom. Failure of spermatogenesis in males, fetal resorption in females, and mastitis in lactating cows are all related to poor epithelial/skin growth and maintenance. Calves born weak and uncoordinated is a result of abnormal bone development during gestation.

  IU/lb feed lbs/feed IU/day
Growing/finishing 1000 20 20,000
Dry cows & heifers 1273 20 25,460
Lactating cows 1773 24 42,552
Breeding bulls 1773 26 46,098

Supplemental Feeds:
Mineral Intake/day IU/day
    300,000 IU/lb 4 oz 75,000
    150,000 IU/lb 4 oz 37,500
    75,000 IU/lb 4 oz 18,750
BP 10: 80,000 IU/lb .5 lb 40,000
Corn BP 10: 40,000 IU/lb .5 lb 20,000
RL tubs: 80,000 IU/lb .75 lb 60,000
AR Block: 15,000 IU/lb 1.5 lb 22,500
AR liquids: 7,500 IU/lb 1.5 lb 11,250

Article provided by Purina

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