Dietary Trace Mineral Level and Source Affect Fecal Bacterial Mineral Incorporation and Mineral Leaching Potential of Equine Feces

Ashley L. Fowler, Mieke Brümmer-Holder, Karl A. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Minerals excreted in feces have the potential to leach or runoffto water-ways, negatively impacting water quality. This study examined the effect of dietary trace mineral levels, and their source, on the leaching potential of minerals from equine feces. Nine horses were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin Square, with three dietary treatments provided as pellets: no added trace minerals (CON), added inorganic trace minerals (ING), and added organic trace minerals (ORG). Supplemental trace minerals included Co, Cu, Mn, and Zn. Horses were allowed ad libitum access to forage and fed their treatment pellets for 16 days prior to fecal sample collection. Estimated dietary mineral intake exceeded requirements for supplemented minerals. Regardless of the source, adding dietary trace minerals increased the fecal leaching potential of Cu, Zn, and P (p < 0.05). More Co leached from ORG compared to ING, while Zn leached in greater amounts from ING compared to ORG (p < 0.05). Fecal bacterial Zn content was greater (p < 0.05) for ORG compared to ING. Negative correlations were observed between bacterial mineral content and leaching for several minerals. Supplementing trace minerals in forms that increase microbial incorporation may provide a strategy to control fecal mineral leaching.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7107
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflicts of Interest: This research was supported by Alltech Inc., who also provided the product for the study.

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the Kentucky Agriculture Experiment Station. Funding for the research was provided by Alltech, Inc, Nicholasville, KY.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


  • Bacterial biomass
  • Leaching
  • Trace mineral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary Trace Mineral Level and Source Affect Fecal Bacterial Mineral Incorporation and Mineral Leaching Potential of Equine Feces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this