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Researchers in Brazil measured calcium (Ca), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) levels in the hoof wall of 41 foals before weaning, with 28 of the same foals again tested after weaning. After discarding those from the most superficial layer, samples were obtained for testing by rasping the dorsal hoof. They also tested samples of available forage and pasture soils where the foals were raised throughout the seasons in various geographic areas of the country.
Ca, Cu and Zn levels in the hoof wall varied by geographic region and season with Cu levels lowest in the winter and spring, Ca levels lowest in winter and Zn levels lowest in the fall and winter. Cu and Zn levels in the hooves were correlated with those in pasture forage.
— Silva PM et al. JEVS 2022;109:103854