Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

T. Kickinger, J. Humer, K. Aichberger, H. Würzner and W. Windisch:

Survey on zinc and copper contents in dung from Austrian livestock production.


Between the years 1994 and 2004 a total of 347 dung samples were collected randomly from common farms in the Austrian Federal Countries of Upper Austria and Lower Austria and were analyzed for the contents of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) in dry matter (DM). The samples comprised dung from varying species and categories of production (pig breeding, pig fattening, dairy cows, cattle for fattening, laying hens and broiler, turkey) as well as from different types of dung (manure, solid dung). Zn contents in dung from pigs, cattle and poultry averaged 1171, 237, and 430 mg/kg DM. Respective Cu contents were 332, 54, and 99 mg/kg DM. The mean contents of Zn and Cu in solid dung from pigs, cattle and poultry reached about 60, 90 and 75 % of respective values in manure. With respect to time course of sample collection, Zn and Cu contents revealed to remain constant. In total, the Zn and Cu contents in dung seemed to reflect largely the current practice to supplement the animals’ feeds with Zn and Cu (including high dietary Cu contents in piglet feeds according to limits given by feed law). In case of Zn in pig dung, however, the exceptionally high contents indicated additional Zn entries apart from feeding according to best practice.

Key words: Zn, Cu, dung, manure, pig, dairy, cattle, poultry.