Zinc Deficiency in Horses


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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17 Responses

  1. Minnie says:

    Hi there – I interesting story … have a mare with two cracked hooves – she has been left to get very fat so I suspect diet has a role to play I have ordered some zinc but was wondering how much I should give her – she is a full TB – 7 yo and approx. 15.2hh – much appreciated!

    • then5925 says:

      Hi Minnie–unfortunately, that’s not an easy question to answer unless you know how much zinc she’s currently getting in her diet. Getting a hay or pasture analysis is the easiest way to find out. Many horse’s diets are deficient in zinc (and copper), but I unless you know how much, you’re really just taking a guess at how much to supplement. The trace minerals also need to be fed in the correct ratios or else you’re really not going to see a difference. If you don’t want to get a forage analysis, the next best thing would be to find a regional analysis and go from there OR buy a good trace mineral supplement like California Trace with balanced minerals and NO iron.


  2. Billy says:

    Do you know of any research concerning zinc/copper deficiency and ongoing thrush? Thanks.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Billy–no, unfortunately I don’t know of any research on this, but it would certainly be interesting to see some. I have heard quite a few personal stories of thrush clearing up with balanced trace minerals though.

  3. Dorie Strater says:

    Casie, we have two cases of zinc deficiencies due to iron overload. We did trace mineral analyses with MSU on both horses early March and again in July. During that time, one horse was receiving 1080mg Zn + 280mg Cu to offset the Iron. Her zinc levels came back worse than in March. Until we can get a new batch of hay tested for iron in September, it would help immensely if you gave us some idea of how much Zn/Cu you are using to offset Fe overload. The closest hay analysis we have for previous years’ hay was 1357mg of Fe. Our vet recommended we increase the Zn/Cu amounts by 25%. I will also call Horse Tech to see if there is another Zinc product that is more easily assimilated. I appreciate your time, as we have been going through 11 months of major hoof issues on both horses due to iron overload. It has now led to laminitis in both horses. Kind regards, Dorie

    • Casie says:

      Hi Dorie, I don’t recall the exact amounts from when I fed individual minerals (have that information stored on another computer), but from what I remember it was around 1200 mg Zn and 400 mg Cu. I eventually went to a custom made supplement from Horsetech, and now use something completely different. Have you considered California Trace?

      • Dorie Strater says:

        Hi Casie,
        Thank you so much for responding! All information is useful when we are trying to help our equine friends. I have been using Uckele Poly Zinc and Poly Copper since December. These supplements are not working as both horses are now zinc deficient. We are going back to tried and true Horse Tech Zinc amino acid complex as it appears from our 6 years experience that it is a better product for our girls. We did not have hoof cracks or abscesses with the Horse Tech product. California Trace also uses a poly zinc. We have increased the doses to 1200mg of Zinc and a proportion thereof for Copper as recommended by the vet. Thanks so much for your kindenss in replying! Love your blog and we appreciate the information.
        Kind regards, Dorie

      • Dorie Lu Strater says:

        Do you remember roughly how long you had Bob at the zinc level of 1200 mg and copper @ about 400 mg? The blood serum levels for our horses no longer show a deficiency after 6 months. But they are both below the lower limit on the reference range but just above deficient. Thanks for the wonderful articles. Helping other horses with your knowledge and experience is much appreciated!

        Kind regards,

        • Casie says:

          Hi Dorie, I don’t remember honestly. I no longer supplement individual minerals but use a multi-mineral instead now. It just became to much work and I was looking for ways to simplify. I no longer have Bob but my other horses do just fine on the multi-minerals.

      • Kassy says:

        Hello. Had my horse’s blood analyzed and it came back she is low in zinc, copper and iron. The iron level isn’t too bad so i only want to supplement the zinc and copper. Any suggestions on a single way too give both. In canada. Thx.

  4. Tracy Allred says:

    But those metabolic distress lines!

  5. Kristi Christman says:

    Hi! I am SO EXCITED to find you! It is extremely hard to find anyone who knows anything real or accurate about equine nutrition! I have a pregnant mare who is entering her third trimester and I need to increase her copper & zinc quite a bit. Also protein, and calcium and phosphorous a little. I have not been able to test my hay or pasture, as she is boarded at a facility, so I was wondering what you would recommend? Thank you so much!!

  1. January 7, 2013

    […] important factor is diet–so that should be evaluated as well.  A copper and/or zinc deficiency and diets high in carbohydrates (too much grain, alfalfa, rich grass, etc.) are also linked with […]

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