Mineral accretion in nursing piglets in relation to sow performance and mineral source
The present study investigated the effect of a moderate substitution of inorganic mineral sources with chelated mineral sources from four weeks prior to parturition throughout lactation on sow and litter performance. In addition, the aims were to determine whether the mineral source and litter performance affect mineral status and accretion in piglets at birth and at weaning. Forty gestating sows in a commercial pig herd were selected and randomly assigned to two experimental groups, with part
... groups, with part of the Cu, Mn, Zn and Fe content of the feed added as either an inorganic mineral source or a chelated mineral source. From each sow, one piglet was randomly selected at birth and at weaning for total body mineral analysis. Neither the performance of the sows and the piglets nor the total body mineral concentrations of the piglets at birth and at weaning were significantly different between the two diet groups (<i>P</i> > 0.05). Fe, Na and P content of piglets at birth were inversely correlated with birth weight (<i>r</i> = –0.447, <i>P</i> = 0.004 for Fe; <i>r</i> = –0.431, <i>P</i> = 0.005 for Na; <i>r</i> = –0.340, <i>P</i> = 0.032 for P). Daily accretion rate of K and Ca of piglets was positively correlated with piglet growth performance during the entire lactation period (<i>r</i> = 0.469, <i>P</i> = 0.008 for K; <i>r</i> = 0.581, <i>P</i> < 0.001 for Ca), and negatively correlated with number of liveborn piglets (<i>r</i> = –0.424, <i>P</i> = 0.014 for K, and <i>r</i> = –0.405, <i>P</i> = 0.027 for Ca). In conclusion, the study documented that partial substitution of inorganic minerals with a chelated mineral source failed to exert significant effects on performance and total body mineral concentrations. The importance of the influence of sow milk production on mineral body stores in piglets warrants further investigation.