Essential trace element required for the formation of haemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle as well as being an essential component of various enzyme systems. Iron is essential for oxygen transport.
Most Australian diets have plentiful Iron and deficiency is rare. Supplementation is not normally required and potentially may depress the absorbtion of other elements, principally copper and zinc. Iron injections are dangerous to horses and may cause anaphylaxis. Supplemental iron in the form called ferrous fumarate may be toxic if given orally and fatalities have been reported following its use. Commonly used feeds and pasture contain adequate iron to meet dietary requirements at all stages.