Effects of dietary aluminum source and concentration on mineral status of feeder lambs

Tara L. Felix, L. R. McDowell, G. A. O'Connor, N. S. Wilkinson, Jan Kivipelto, Meghan Brennan, R. K. Madison, L. K. Warren, J. H. Brendemuhl

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A 100 d experiment was conducted to determine the effects of aluminum (Al) source and concentration on mineral status, emphasizing phosphorus (P), of 50 feeder lambs. Six treatments, fed at 10% of the total diet, were formulated using two sources of Al, AlCl3 and an Al-based water treatment residual (WTR, 11.1% Al), with varying levels of Al and P: (1) control (10% sand, C), (2) low WTR (2.5% WTR and 7.5% sand, L-WTR), (3) AlCl3 with added P (1% AlCl3, 9% sand, and 0.4% P, AlCl3 + P), (4) high WTR (10% WTR, H-WTR), (5) AlCl3 (1% AlCl3 and 9% sand, AlCl3), and (6) high WTR with added P (10% WTR and 0.4% P, H-WTR + P). The total Al varied from 0.037 to 1.2% among diets. Only lambs fed the high WTR diet without P supplementation (H-WTR) decreased feed intakes. These lambs consumed about half as much feed as lambs on all the other treatments, and had lower (P < 0.05) BW from d 84 on. Lambs receiving the H-WTR had the lowest bone Ca, P and Mg concentrations (fresh basis, mg/cm3) and lowest bone mineral content (BMC) as determined by radiographs (mm of Al). Results for the lambs on H-WTR were confounded by the greatly reduced feed intake of animals on this treatment. Plasma P decreased in all lambs consuming Al, regardless of Al source, but the effects were less severe in animals provided additional P supplementation (AlCl3 + P and H-WTR + P). Apparent absorption of P was affected by concentration and source of Al in two metabolism trials (n = 42) beginning on d 34 and d 70, respectively. In the first trial, d 34, lambs receiving AlCl3 treatment had reduced apparent P absorption, -17.7% (P < 0.05), when compared to all other treatments. In the d 70 trial, lambs receiving both AlCl3 and H-WTR treatments were negatively impacted (P < 0.05) compared to the control, -20.9 and -2.5% apparent P absorption, respectively, but were no longer different from one another (P > 0.05). Diets containing 1.2% Al as WTR without P supplementation depressed feed intakes, weight gains, plasma P concentrations (P < 0.05), and BMC. However, given adequate P supplementation, even lambs consuming this amount of Al did not suffer detrimental effects, as lambs on H-WTR + P did not differ from the control (P > 0.05) in feed intakes, weight gains, or BMC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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