Bioavailability of some minerals such as phytate-phos-phorus differs between ruminant and nonruminants because of differences in their digestive systems. True digestibility of phytate-phosphorus can be as high as 63% in sheep, but usually less than 30% in nonruminants. Bioavailability of minerals appears to be lower for adult than for young animals. Copper absorption is low (<1.0 10.0%) in weaned lambs, but high (70 85%) in young, milk-fed lambs that do not have a functional rumen. The low absorption of copper in adult ruminants is largely due to complex interactions that occur in rumen. Early growth, gestation, and lactation use minerals more efficiently than occurs at later stages. Duodenal coccid-iosis caused by Eimeria acervulina inoculation in the young broiler decreased zinc bioavailability, but increased bioavailability of manganese, copper, cobalt, and iron.
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