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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1989;2(4): 579-582.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1989.579    Published online December 1, 1989.
Effects of dietary silicic acid and cadmium on short-term mineral balances in sheep
L. B. Bruce
Previous experiments have shown that aqueous sodium silicate ingested in drinking water may modify the gastrointestinal uptake and(or) tissue retention of certain trace elements, including heavy metals. The present experiment tested, with a mineral balance trial using sheep, the hypothesis that dietary silicic acid could modify uptake, retention and(or) biological effects of dietary Cd. Twenty-four wethers were fed a fibrous diet of ground alfalfa hay and cottonseed hulls to which either 0 or 150 ppn Cd was added as CdCl2 and 0, .5 or 1% silicic acid (as dry matter of the diet). Body weight, feed intake, excretion of urine (volume) and feces (weight), digestibility of dry and organic matter, retention of nitrogen, and packed cell volumes of blood were not affected by either Cd or silicic acid (P<.10). Cadmium decreased (P<.05) Ca retention and increased (P<.01) Mg retention. Silicic acid decreased (P<.05) K retention. Silicic acid failed (P<.01) to modify the retention of added dietary Cd. Body retention of K, Mn and Ni in response to silicic acid varied with Cd levels. If Cd is interfering with mineral retention, silicic acid may be effective in preventing this interference.
Keywords: Cadium; Silicic Acid; Mineral Retention; Sheep

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