Chloride (Cl) - cattle

Chloride (Cl), together with sodium (Na) and potassium (K), plays an essential role in osmotic, pressure of body cells and thus the moisture balance of the body. Together, these minerals determine the cation-anion difference (also called acid-base balance) of the ration and the body. 

Chloride requirements (CVB, 2016)
Category g/kg dry matter g/animal/day
Young cattle from 4 months 0.6 2.2
Young cattle from 9 months 0.6 3.3
Young cattle from 16 months 0.6 4.6
Dry 8-3 weeks to calving 0.7 7.7
Dry 3-0 weeks to calving 0.8 8.5
Milking (20 kg) 2.0 37
Milking (40 kg) 2.8 66

Chloride is important in lowering the pH of the abomasum in the form of HCl. Furthermore, it is important in the production of enzymes (for example, the digestion of starch) and for respiration. Chloride ions are exchanged in the lungs for exhales CO2.

Chloride deficiency 

Chloride deficiency disturbs the electrolyte balance in the body, which can lead to delayed breathing, lethargy and constipation. Specific symptoms include a decreased intake of feed and water and thus a worsened condition and lowered production. However, chloride deficiencies rarely occur in practice.

Chloride surplus

Chloride excess is also rare in practice; animals can easily excrete any excess through manure and urine. The CVB (2005) therefore does not specify a toxicity limit for chloride. Normally, the chloride content in a ration is regulated through the addition of sodium chloride (salt). When chloride is provided in the form of calcium chloride, the tolerance is much lower.

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