Skip to Main navigation Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Agriculture > Dairy Extension > Feed and Nutrition > Feeding the dairy herd > Table 2-5

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon

Feeding the dairy herd

Table 1 Table of Contents Table 6-10

Fatty acid Profile Tallow Choice white grease Yellow grease Poultry fat Soybean oil

% of fatty acids
Myristic C14:0 3.1 1.5 1.3 1.1 0.0
Palmitic C16:0 25.8 23.5 17.6 23.8 11.5
Palmitoleic C16:1 4.3 3.4 2.3 9.6 0.0
Stearic C18:0 20.4 12.0 10.2 4.7 4.0
Oleic C18:1 39.1 44.3 45.9 42.9 24.5
Linoleic C18:2 2.3 10.7 20.3 16.8 53.0
Linolenic C18:3 1.3 3.1 0.9 0.9 7.0
Total % unsaturated 49.0 62.2 69.9 70.4 84.5
Total % saturated 51.0 37.8 30.1 29.6 15.5
Ratio unsat/sat 1:1 1.6:1 2.4:1 2.4:1 5.4:1

Source: National Renderers Association (1992)

Back: Fat

Vitamin Function(s) Deficiency symptoms and associated problems Common feed sources for dairy cattle

A Essential for normal vision; cellular function; and maintenance of epithelial linings of respiratory, reproductive and digestive tracts. Night blindness; skin problems; blind, dead or weak calves; reproductive problems. Carotene sources: green, leafy forages; hays; haylages (little weathering); unfrosted corn silage; synthetic A; vitamin premix; fish liver oil.
D Normal bone growth and development; absorption of calcium and phosphorus; mobilization of calcium and phosphorus. Rickets, osteomalacia. Sun-cured forages; fish liver oils; synthetic premixes.
E Antioxidant; associated with selenium. Oxidized flavor in milk; muscle problems; white muscle disease; cardiac muscle abnormalities. Alfalfa; germ of cereals; wheat germ oil; cereal grains; synthetic premixes.
K Required for blood clotting. Hemorrhaging; moldy sweet clover disease. Green, leafy forages. Ample amounts normally are synthesized in the digestive tract.

Back: Vitamins

Mineral Function(s) Deficiency symptoms and associated problems Feed sources for dairy cattle

Calcium (Ca) Bone and teeth formation; blood clotting; muscle contraction. .12% in whole milk. Rickets; slow growth and poor bone development; easily fractured bones; reduced milk yield; milk fever is a disturbance of normal calcium metabolism. Alfalfa and other legumes; ground limestone; dicalcium phosphate; steamed bone meal
Phosphorus (P) Bone and teeth formation; P is involved in energy metabolism, part of DNA and RNA. .09% in milk. Fragile bones; poor growth; low blood P (less than 4-6 mg/100 ml); depraved appetite (chewing of wood, hair and bones); poor reproductive performance. Monosodium, monoammonium and dicalcium phosphates; steamed bone meal; cereal grains; grain byproducts; oil seed meals.
Sodium (Na) Acid-base balance; muscle contraction; nerve transmission. Craving for salt; reduced appetite; if very severe: incoordination, weakness, shivering, and death. Common salt and buffer products.
Chlorine (Cl) Acid-base balance; maintenance of osmotic pressure; manufacture of hydrochloric acid in abomasum. Craving for salt; reduced appetite. Common salt and commercial supplements.
Magnesium (Mg) Enzyme activator; found in skeletal tissue and bone. Irritability; tetany; increased excitability. Magnesium oxide; forages and mineral supplements.
Sulfur (S) Rumen microbial protein synthesis, especially when nonprotein nitrogen is fed; found in cartilage, tendons, and amino acids. Slow growth; reduced milk production; reduced feed efficiency. Elemental sulfur; sodium and potassium sulfates; protein supplements; legume forages.
Potassium (K) Maintenance of electrolyte balance; enzyme activator; muscle function; nerve function. Decrease in feed intake; loss of hair glossiness; lower blood and milk potassium. Legume forages; potassium chloride; potassium sulfate.
Iodine (I) Synthesis of thyroxine (hormone). Big neck in calves; goitrogenic substances may cause deficiency. Iodized salt, trace mineralized salt and EDDI (ethylenediamine dihydriodide).
Iron (Fe) Part of hemoglobin; part of many enzyme systems. Nutritional anemia. Forages; grains; trace mineralized salt and commercial supplements.
Copper (Cu) Needed for manufacture of hemoglobin; coenzyme. Severe diarrhea; abnormal appetite; poor growth; coarse, bleached or graying hair coat; osteomalacia. Trace mineralized salt and commercial supplements.
Cobalt (Co) Part of vitamin B12; needed or growth of rumen micro-organisms. Failure of appetite; anemia; decreased milk production; rough hair coat. Trace mineralized salt and commercial supplements.
Manganese (Mn) Growth; bone formation; enzyme activator. Delayed or decreased signs of estrus; poor conception. Trace mineralized salt and commercial supplements.
Zinc (Zn) Enzyme activator; wound healing. Decreased weight gains; lowered feed efficiency; skin problems; slow healing wounds; listlessness. Forages; trace mineralized salt, commercial supplements, and zinc methionine.
Fluorine (F) Not known if it is essential for ruminants; has been shown to be essential for laboratory animals. Maximum safe level is 30 ppm. Severe reduction in feed intake; stiffness in legs; enlarged bones. A problem with high fluorine phosphates. Rock phosphate mineral.
Selenium (Se) Functions with certain enzymes; associated with vitamin E; maintains the immune system to combat disease. White muscle disease in calves; retained placenta; improve reproductive performance; lessen subclinical mastitis. Oil meals; alfalfa; wheat; oats; corn (amount varies with content in soil); commercial supplements.
Molybdenum (Mo) Part of the enzyme, xanthine oxidase. Loss of weight; emaciation; diarrhea. Widely distributed in feeds; deficiency is rarely a problem.

Back: Minerals

Temperature (F)

Weight (lb) Milk (lb) 40o and below 60o 80o

200 2.0 2.5 3.3
400 3.7 4.6 6.1
800 6.3 7.9 10.6
1200a 8.7 10.8 14.5
Dry cowsa
1400 9.7 12.0 16.2
1600 10.4 12.8 17.3
Lactating cowsb
1400 20 12.0 14.5 17.9
60 22.0 26.1 24.7
80 27.0 31.9 38.7
100 32.0 37.7 45.7

aMaintenance and milk production.
bMaintenance and pregnancy.


Table 1 Table of Contents Table 6-10
  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy