Trace minerals are critical to breeder and progeny performance, but their role is often overlooked. 

In a WATT Poultry Chat interview, Dr. Bob Buresh, executive technical service manager for poultry at Novus International Inc. spoke about different types of trace minerals and their affects on performance. 

Austin Alonzo: Bob, it's well known that there are many factors influencing the performance and profitability of broiler breeders. Can you share some of these factors?

Bob Buresh: As you said, there's many factors: age, housing, management, genetics, nutrition, just to name a few. Those are all factors that can be influenced at the producer level. My background is in nutrition, and I can tell you that trace mineral nutrition is an often overlooked but very important aspect of broiler breeder nutrition. A healthy, well-nourished breeder can produce higher quality eggs with embryos and subsequent chicks having the right amount of minerals to perform optimally. 

Austin Alonzo: Why is trace mineral nutrition important but overlooked? 

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Bob Buresh: Well, Austin, it's often overlooked, because trace minerals are typically such a small part of the broiler breeder ration. But I cannot emphasize enough however, how critical it is to breeder and progeny performance. These are vital nutrients to support structural development, eggshell quality and hatchability. Now there's different kinds of types of trace minerals out there, there are inorganic and organic, and the main thing to consider is their bioavailability. Choosing a mineral that's structured to be more bioavailable to the animal results in increased performance benefits and ultimately impacting your profitability. Now our bis-chelated trace minerals have been proven to be more bioavailable to the animal. As the mineral is protected from antagonists and more available to the animal at the site of absorption in the GI tract.

Austin Alonzo: Does maternal nutrition play a large role in chick performance?

Bob Buresh: It sure does. Maternal nutrition is critical to providing the nutrients for the egg to support embryo development and the later chick performance. The more bioavailable the mineral, the more the progeny benefits. Zinc, copper and manganese are three of the most important trace minerals we're concerned with. And all along bioavailability is still crucial here. Together these trace minerals in a highly bioavailable form, provide a solid foundation for optimal breeder performance, broiler growth and productivity. 

Austin Alonzo: Bob, where can people learn more about this topic? 

Bob Buresh: Well, for anyone who has more questions, please visit our Novus website or contact us at the email shown here. Someone from our team will be more than happy to speak with you.