Repletion of blood selenium concentrations in weaned beef calves.

D. E. Eversole, C. D. Thatcher, D. J. Blodgett, J. B. Meldrum, H. D. Kent

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6 Scopus citations


Eighty-three weaned beef calves severely deficient (less than 20 micrograms/L) in blood selenium (Se) were allotted by sex, weight and breed to one of six regimens of Se supplementation for 108 days to examine the efficacy of various Se supplementation programs and to monitor the repletion rate of blood Se concentrations. Cattle in treatment 1 received an IM injection of sodium selenite and an ad libitum feeding of 20 mg Se/kg salt-mineral mixture. Salt-mineral mixtures (treatments 2, 3, 4 and 5) were formulated to contain 20, 40, 80 and 160 mg Se/kg supplement, respectively, and were offered free-choice. Treatment 2 served as the selenium-treated control because 20 mg Se/kg supplement was the maximum permissible by FDA in commercial salt-mineral preparations at the time of this study. Cattle in treatment 6 received a salt-mineral supplement which contained no Se but dried brewers grain (434 micrograms Se/kg) was incorporated in the ration as an organic source of Se and fed at a rate of 1.1 kg/head/day. There was a within group time/treatment interaction (P less than 0.01) among all treatments as blood Se concentrations significantly increased over time. Final mean whole blood Se concentrations for treatments 1-6 were 87.8, 60.6, 95.1, 123.1, 154.2 and 91.4 micrograms/L, respectively. Treatments 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 effectively increased and maintained whole blood Se concentrations at adequate levels (greater than 70 micrograms/L) by day 84. Treatment 2 (control) increased blood Se during the 108-day study, but blood Se concentrations never exceeded marginal levels (50-70 micrograms/L). Cattle consumed less salt-mineral supplement as the concentration of Na selenite increased from 20 to 160 mg Se/kg supplement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalThe Cornell veterinarian
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes


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