Determination of Blood Micromineral and Fat-Soluble Vitamin Values for White-tailed Deer
This study was to determine baseline values for whole blood and serum micromineral and vitamin concentrations for white-tailed deer (Odocoileis virginianus) in an attempt to establish dietary requirements. Open does (n=223) were sampled during fall breeding procedures. Captive-raised does housed at high fenced ranches (n=3) throughout Texas were used. Blood samples were analyzed for micromineral levels (Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Se, and Zn) and fat-soluble metabolites (vitamin A, vitamin E, and cholesterol). Age of the doe and ranch were used as main effects. Sampled averages were 6.31 ng/mL Co, 1.04 µg/mL Cu, 220.41 µg/mL Fe, 4.43 ng/mL Mn, 4.23 ng/mL Mo, 172.48 ng/mL Se, 0.54 µg/mL Zn, 275.25 ng/mL vitamin A, 1.80 µg/mL vitamin E, and 79.61 mg/dL cholesterol. Ranch played an important role in micronutrient levels, with the exception of cholesterol (P=0.26). Micronutrient least squared means were affected by age for Se, Zn, and vitamin E (P<.01). Pregnancy status was determined (n=93) via blood 30-37 d after breeding procedure. Females that became pregnant at initial breeding attempt had higher serum Zn (P<.01) and vitamin E (P=0.03) levels. The establishment of circulating blood micronutrient levels will serve as a baseline for future white-tailed deer nutrient requirement research.