The organic approach to ensuring optimum minerals for animal health and product quality

In organic animal husbandry, many uncertainties and inconsistencies exist regarding provision with minerals and trace elements. The organic principles of health can be viewed as unique and call for a focus on resilience which can be useful in the way in which diets and mineral compositions are planned for ruminants.

The organic principles stress that animals should be given a framework and conditions within which they can meet their natural needs in different life situation, such as growth, yielding and pregnancy. When it comes to mineral supply, the question is, however, what their ‘natural needs’ are, and to which extent they can meet them through access e.g. to natural pastures and different types of feed. The presentation will focus on these aspects and how this can guide the organic dairy farmer regarding mineral and trace element supply.

Studies on the use of herbs in grass fields have mostly dealt with the milk quality, and less with animal health, although there might be interesting observations and perspectives regarding animal health. Different strategies exist, using high nutrient feed stuffs, diverse diets, and different types of supplement minerals. According to the organic principles, it is also important to combine the supplement of minerals with priorities such as using local feed stuffs and high proportion of forage to ruminants have to be combined as part the feeding strategies.


Theme: animal husbandry
Published: 27th January 2016
Author: Mette Vaarst