Mineral status of soil-plant-animal is interrelated and deficiency or excess in one may affect the status of other. Availability and balance of micro-minerals to animals is a major factor determining the health and productivity. Keeping it in view, a baseline survey was conducted in different blocks of Pathanamthitta (Mallapally, Ranni and Ilanthoor) and Kottayam (Vazhoor and Kanjirapally) districts of Kerala state. The aim of the study was to assess the major micro-minerals i.e., copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe) status of soil, composite fodder and cattle in two districts of Kerala. Soil (n=115), Fodder (n=110) and Serum (n=182) samples from cattle were collected from the study. Micro-minerals in soil, composite fodder and plasma were estimated by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The average Cu, Zn and Fe contents of soil in two representative districts of Kerala were found to be 1.59±0.09, 1.25±0.03 and 27.81±0.50 µg/gm, respectively. The percent of soil deficient in Cu, Zn and Fe were 27.8%, 33.0% and 2.61%, respectively. Similarly, the average Cu, Zn and Fe contents of fodder were 10.46±0.35, 28.93±0.51 and 354.35±12.37 µg/gm with deficiency of 30.9%, 36.4% and 3.6%, respectively. The overall prevalence of Cu, Zn and Fe deficiency in serum samples of cattle was 35.7%, 47.3% and 11.00 % respectively and in the two representative districts of Kerala. Significant correlation was observed at 1% and 5% level for Cu, Zn and Fe concentrations in soil-fodder-bovine plasma of in almost all districts. Future efforts should consider these micro-elements supplementation in feeding ration of cattle and to formulate area specific mineral mixture.
Key words: Cattle, Copper, Continuum, Iron, Kerala, Zinc