The saliva that they produce while chewing their cud can help negate the high amount of sulfur that they could be consuming. Cows fed diets (including sulfur from water) with 0.40% sulfur also have lower absorption of selenium than cows fed diets with 0.20% sulfur. The soluble hydrosulfide anion is in the rumen fluid phase and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas accumulates in the rumen gas cap. Courtesy of Drs. Analyze all feeds and estimate total feed intake. Diets for growing and finishing cattle should be formulated to contain 0.15 percent sulfur on a dry matter basis. Ethanol byproducts may contain a high concentration of sulfur. Daily dry matter intake = (1.85% X BW in lbs) + (0.3 X daily milk in lbs). But if dairy cattle consume sufficient sulfur, PEM will occur in dairy breeds as well. Some plants produce a modified WDG (45 to 50 percent dry matter). Selecting the correct mineral supplement is important for maintaining healthy animals, and optimal growth and reproduction. Determine the concentration of sulfate (SO4) in the water by laboratory analysis. The samples of hominy feed and corn gluten feed analyzed contained approximately 10 times as much sulfur as earlier values indicate. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. As I mentioned earlier sulfur can also interact with the other minerals that are in the diet, such as copper. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Since one of the effects of high sulfate intake is limited feed intake, this may explain some of the reduced performance seen in animals on high sufur diets. Cows fed diets (including sulfur from water) with 0.40% sulfur also have lower absorption of selenium than cows fed diets with 0.20% sulfur. When dietary sulfur is consumed by ruminants it is reduced to sulfide by ruminal microorganisms. Beef cattle require a number of minerals for optimal growth and reproduction. More commonly, lower sulfur intakes that do not produce clinical disease can substantially decrease animal performance. By estimating the TSC for your herd, based on measured sulfur content of all consumed nutrients, it is possible to evaluate potential hazards. Characterization of Naturally Occurring Coliform Mastitis, Pulmonary Hypertension and High Altitude Disease in Cattle, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Population Health Institute (APHI), Colorado Department of Agriculture State Veterinary Office, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Directions, Lodging, & Pet Boarding Information. Be sure to include sulfur (S) contributed by feed additives used to adjust DCAD. Although this article has focused on sulfur intake, other water impurities such as nitrate and nitrite can also affect dairy production. Supra Sulfa ® III Boluses (Sulfamethazine Sustained Release Boluses) are intended for oral administration to beef cattle and non-lactating dairy cattle (See Warning).Supra Sulfa ® III Boluses are indicated for the treatment of the following diseases when caused by one or more of the following pathogenic organisms sensitive to sulfamethazine: Bacterial Pneumonia and Bovine Respiratory … One of the tasks that it does is it is part of the essential amino acids that make up protein. A couple of symptoms of toxicity can be reduced growth rate and appetite. An estimate of water intake in liters for lactating cows is = 16 + (1.6 X DMI in kg) + (milk production in kg) + (1.2 X minimum daily temperature in degrees C). The possibility that dairy cattle may be consuming too much sulfur has not received much attention, and so it is very reasonable that this nutritional issue can be routinely overlooked. It can take as little as 10 pounds per acre of sulfur, typically at a cost of 50¢ per pound or less to give a corn yield response, says Dan Kaiser, University of … The disease can also occur as outbreaks of disease that affect several animals in a short time period. Sulfur is a drug so I don't know how much should be feed. Equal Opportunity | Compared with all other farm animals, lactating dairy cows require the greatest amount of water in proportion to their size. Contact Us | Use of sulfamethazine in this class of cattle may cause milk residues. Cruciferous forages, such as turnip, rape, and oilseed meals are also rich in sulfur. Since high-quality forages and/or grains can furnish a large portion of the required minerals, producers should select supplements that will meet animal requirements and avoid excesses that reduce profits and lead to unnecessary mineral excretion. This is probably due to the formation of copper sulfide and/or the thiomolybdate-copper complex. Because of U.S. FDA regulations, the concentration of supplemental selenium in diets cannot be increased above 0.3 ppm, even when sulfur can interfere with selenium absorption. For feedback regarding this site, contact Webmaster at cvmbsweb@colostate.edu. All one need do is consult any of the internet chat groups or visit the local sale barn to hear armchair veterinary advice about the so-called advantages of feeding sulfur salt to livestock. It is seen occasionally in individual animals, and historically has been attributed to problems with thiamine (a B-vitamin) metabolism. Sulfur is a necessary mineral  that is needed in order to maintain life. Macrominerals include, besides Sulfur, Calcium, Phosphorus, Salt (NaCl), Magnesium, and Potassium. Dry matter of wet distiller grains (WDG) differs from 25 to 35 percent between plants. Higher amounts (0.29%) are recommended for calves consuming milk or milk replacers. We also recognize this problem in range cattle. A general recommendation is to feed a nitrogen-to-sulfur ratio of 10:1. Sulfur salt blocks have generated a love/hate relationship among cattlemen. When cattle are transitioning to high sulfate intake conditions, the ruminal sulfide concentration peaks 1 to 3 weeks after the change. Apply to CSU | When crystallized, it is yellow. The maximal tolerated concentration of sulfur for cattle and sheep depends on the type of diet. Minerals not provided by feed can be easily and inexpensive… Compared to the other minerals typically sulfur does not need to be supplemented. The National Research Council recommends between 1500 to 2000 ppm of sulfur. The possibility of sulfur-associated PEM can be assessed by measuring the sulfur content of the water and dietary ingredients and then estimating the total sulfur intake on a dry-matter basis. According to a paper from the University of Georgia the sulfur requirement is only 0.15% of intake. Producers that use distillers grains must be aware of t… If you are interested in learning more about the role forages play in the cattle digestion then check out one of my previous articles “Roughages more important that you think”. Sulfur is a necessary mineral that is needed in order to maintain life. Therefore high sulfate water can represent a substantial amount of sulfur intake in these animals. Sulfur is an essential nutrient in cattle diets. It can then be either incorporated into microbial protein or absorbed, converted to sulfate and excreted. Allow cows to stand in dry soil or sand, even if it means piling it on concrete for cows to stand on. Many nutrient elements are assessed for total quantity of intake, such as grams/day or lbs/day. Initially, our sulfur research in herds of animals focused on cattle in the feedlot environment. Grasses tend to be low in sulfur, although under some circumstances grasses can accumulate high concentrations of sulfate. The accepted maximal safe water sulfate concentration is estimated at 300ppm. This makes the range between requirement and toxicity is very small. Please enable scripts and reload this page. An Integrated Livestock Management research team, headed by Dr. Dan Gould, professor in Pathology at CSU, has been conducting research on effects of cattle sulfur intake for several years. A recent national survey of water sources for beef cattle found 21% of samples exceeded the levels considered safe for all livestock. This is needed for body growth and not just in the muscle area. Data are presented on the total sulfur content of common feeds used in concentrate mixtures for dairy cows. Excess ruminal sulfide can depress ruminal motility Excess dietary sulfur can also result in secondary metabolic effects due to interference with other nutrients. The purpose of this article is to draw your attention to this issue and encourage you to evaluate your herd's sulfur feeding. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. It can be found in every cell of the body and helps to regulate body functions. While putting sulfur powder has been shown to help in that area there is no, as far as I’m aware, no evidence that the block does that. This is good for their kidneys, other muscles, and heart. If a cow eats 1 pound of grain, there's usually only a small percentage left in the manure." Substituting urea and other nonprotein nitrogen compounds for natural proteins in the diet lowers the sulfur content of a ration. This is a question that needs to be studied more thoroughly. Research findings have clarified many aspects of how toxicity occurs, how the cattle respond to excess sulfur intake, and suggest that many dairy operations may have excess sulfur intake as well. Flatus that is high in sulfur-containing compounds is more odiferous than farts consisting almost exclusively of nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. As mentioned earlier sulfur is a necessary mineral for the well being of your animal. Use in these classes of calves may cause violative tissue residues to remain beyond the withdrawal time. Sulfur has been shown to improve the digestion of cellulose such as methionine and cysteine. After calcium and phosphorus, it is the third most abundant mineral in the human body. Estimated increased milk production per cow over the following year exceeded 3 lbs per day, and was sufficient to rapidly pay off the purification system. Lower levels of ruminal sulfide can also produce adverse effects. To calculate the estimated total sulfur concentration (TSC) as a percentage of dry matter consumed: TSC = %S from water + %S from feed. The only time really that you will need a sulfur block is when you are feeding a non-nitrogen protein source such as an urea. For dairy cows maximum tolerable TSC is recommended to be 0.26% to 0.4% on a dry matter basis. To estimate sulfur concentration relative to DMI, contributed by water: To estimate sulfur concentration relative to DMI provided by feed: Dan Gould, DVM, PhD, Professor of Pathology, CSU. If individual feed ingredients or forage components are analyzed, multiply the % as DM for each ingredient by the proportion of the diet it represents. Privacy Statement | This sum is the %S of feed or forage. Despite this mineral’s importance it is very rare that you will need to supplement for it. Sulfur is a chemical element that is present in all living tissues. The primary use is for external parasite control such as ticks and mites. If excessive sulfur is consumed, imbalances in ruminal microbial metabolism can occur, and excessive ruminal sulfide accumulates. The disease is characterized by blindness, staggering, inability to rise and sometimes, seizures. As dairy rations increasingly include salts to modify the dietary anion/cation balance (DCAD), it is important to account for the amount of sulfate that some of these salts contain. Liters of water intake multiplied by mg S/L = intake of S in mg. Divide by 1000 for intake of sulfur (S) in grams. If your goal is to produce stinky farts, eat foods that contain sulfur compounds, such as cabbage and eggs. “Roughages more important that you think”, The Insider’s Guide to Cattle Summer Mineral. Now you may be asking “just how much sulfur does my cow need?”. In the fall, wet, cold conditions negate the natural insulation value of the hair coat … Because of U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, the concentration of supplemental selenium in diets cannot be increased above 0.3 ppm, even when sulfur can interfere with selenium absorption. © Copyright 2019 by College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences If these are reported as sulfate (SO4), remember to divide by 3 to calculate the actual sulfur (S) content. They  also say that the maximum tolerable level is .40%. Unless you will be feeding a non-nitrogen protein then putting out a sulfur block probably wouldn’t be necessary. The sulfur-containing amino acid content of the protein is probably the reason that protein rich forage such as alfalfa can contribute significant amounts of sulfur to the diet. The minimal and maximal limits for sulfur intake are rather expressed as percent of intake, because the utilization and availability of sulfur are closely related to rumen microbial metabolism, and thus are related to total feed intake. It would provide any help and in most cases the risks outweigh any potential, if any, benefits. This is needed for body growth and not just in the muscle area. by Heather Smith Thomas. Sulphur plays an important role in the dietary cation-anion balance of dairy cows. This is only so that they animal can properly digest and absorb the protein. However, certain research shows that a diet with small amounts of sulfur may be beneficial in other ways as well. "If you are feeding grain, you're going to see seed in manure, especially if it isn't ground. Recommended dietary sulfur concentrations are 0.20% of diet dry matter for most dairy cattle (NRC 2001). Then add the proportionally adjusted sulfur concentrations for all the components. Calcium. Although severe thiamin deficiency states have not been demonstrated under high sulfur intake conditions, moderate thiamin deficits are possible. This is a problem of the cerebral cortex that occurs suddenly and leads to blindness, abnormal behavior, severe depression, convulsions, and death. H2S has the odor of rotten eggs. You need to weigh the options yourself and decide if it could be something that will work for you. The maximum tolerable dietary concentration of sulfur is 0.4% of the ration on a dry matter basis. This assessment requires estimation of total sulfur concentration (TSC) of dry matter consumed from all sources, including the contribution made by water. Available Form: I have always been told the sulfur blocks will help cows shed off the old hair and it seems to work when I've tried them. High water sulfate content is common in this region, but cannot be predicted solely on a geographic basis, requiring water analysis for proper identification. Dr. Gould and colleagues have demonstrated that a common cause of PEM is sulfur toxicity. In our region, this severe form of sulfide toxicity is usually seen in feedlot and grazing beef cattle. They reported lower blood pH, lower urine pH, lower blood HCO3 levels and … One of the most important sources of dietary sulfur in our region is water. This sulfur salt lick or block is intended for beef cattle, dairy cows, goats and sheep. The ones that love them say that it helps with external parasite control. Sulfur Toxicity in Feedlot Cattle1 John J. Wagner, Ph.D. Because they can get it naturally it can be very easy to overprovide it. The microorganisms will need the inorganic sulfur to create the right amino acids from the NPN. All Rights Reserved. Now you may be thinking that with the importance that sulfur plays in a living organism that must mean that you will need to supplement with a block but t… Fall and spring in the northern Plains can be challenging seasons for weaning and calving. Sulfur used for body storage or milk produc- tion increased with increasing sulfur except for the MHA treatment. Dairy cattle rations often include some of these high sulfur feeds. If a total mixed ration is analyzed, this is the value to be used as %S for feed. Water consumption by cattle is temperature dependent and increases greatly at high temperatures. If there is a high amount of sulfur, like say in your water, then increasing the forage intake of your cattle to an extent can help with that. Sulfur is one macromineral that is important for the health of cattle. Some researchers have suggested a lower maximum tolerable sulfur concentration of 0.26% for lactating dairy cattle. Whether this benefit was due entirely to reduced sulfate intake or the removal of several impurities was not specifically evaluated. It will not provide the other nutrients needed because it is just salt and sulfur. What you want to notice is the overall percentage. For cattle in general the maximum tolerable sulfur concentration has been estimated at 0.4% on a dry matter basis, and this estimate seems fairly accurate for tolerances in beef cattle in our research. A sulfur deficiency is not very common but an excess of sulfur, known as sulfur toxicity, is a more common occurrence in cattle. The initial focus of these research efforts was on a brain disease of cattle known as polioencephalomalacia (PEM, polio, brainer cattle). Add the sulfur contribution from estimated water intake, Express the sum of sulfur intakes as a % of total DMI. Certain weeds seem to be able to accumulate large amounts of sulfate if large amounts of sulfur are available in the soil. TSC is estimated by adding the % sulfur contributed by the water to the % sulfur contributed by the feed and all additives, all on a DM basis. When all else fails you should follow the feeding instructions that is provided on the tag of the sulfur block. Many dairy ration formulations emphasize the use of legume forages and commodity feeds that are typically high in sulfur, and the ability to substantially reduce sulfur intake by feed modifications can be limited. Website Login Since some ground water has high concentrations of sulfate, water purification may be very beneficial for affected dairies. It has recently come to light that it can cause different types of neurological ailments and can even cause polio in cattle. Additionally, hot weather conditions also can result in evaporation which increases sulfate concentration. There are four basic steps to the calculation: This assessment is relatively easy, but requires careful attention to the measurements and conversions between various analyses. While there is some benefit to feeding sulfur one must also be careful. But fiber and protein content is higher in distillers grains than corn grain. Sulfide exists in the rumen in 2 forms. These weeds include Canada thistle, kochia and lambsquarter. A person may be at risk for contracting ringworm when handling affected animals. Now you may be thinking that with the importance that sulfur plays in a living organism that must mean that you will need to supplement with a block but that is not always true. Since it can have a negative effect if their is a high amount of sulfur in your cow’s diet then you may need to provide some extra copper supplementation. If that isn’t enough just providing the block itself won’t help you out much anyways. 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