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J Anim Sci. 2014 Aug;92(8):3407-15. doi: 10.2527/jas.2013-7080. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

Digestibility and retention of zinc, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and phosphorus in pigs fed diets containing inorganic or organic minerals.

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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801.
Novus International Inc., St. Charles, MO 63304.
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801


The objective of this experiment was to measure the apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) and the retention rate of Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe in pigs fed either inorganic or organic sources of Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments. There were 2 types of diets (corn grits-based or corn-soybean meal [SBM]-based diets) and 3 micromineral treatments (basal micromineral premix [BMM], inorganic micromineral premix [IMM], and organic micromineral premix [OMM]). The BMM contained no added Zn, Cu, Mn, or Fe; the IMM microminerals were provided as sulfates of Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe at 40, 50, 20, and 100 mg/kg, respectively. The OMM contained the same levels of the 4 microminerals as IMM, but Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe in this premix were provided by Zn(2-hydroxy-4-methylthio butanoic acid [HMTBa])2, Cu(HMTBa)2, Mn(HMTBa)2, and FeGly, respectively. Forty-eight barrows (initial BW: 31.1 ± 4.2 kg) were housed individually and allowed ad libitum access to the corn grits diet with BMM for 2 wk. All pigs were then moved to metabolism cages and randomly assigned to 1 of the 6 treatment diets with 8 replicates per diet. Fecal and urine samples were collected for 5 d following a 5-d adaptation period. Compared with corn grits diets, pigs fed corn-SBM diets had greater (P < 0.05) absorption and retention of Zn, Cu, and Mn but less (P < 0.05) ATTD of Zn and Cu. Compared with BMM, supplementation of IMM or OMM increased (P < 0.05) absorption, retention, ATTD, and retention rate of Zn, Cu, Mn, and Fe. Compared with IMM, adding OMM to the corn-SBM diet improved (P < 0.05) the absorption and retention of Cu and Mn and the ATTD of Cu, but these differences were not observed in the corn grits diets (interaction, P < 0.05). In addition, adding OMM to the corn-SBM diet increased (P < 0.05) absorption and retention of Zn and Fe and ATTD of Zn, Mn, and Fe compared with adding IMM to the corn-SBM diet. Supplementation of OMM also increased (P < 0.05) the ATTD and retention rate of P in corn-SBM diets. Results indicate that Zn(HMTBa)2 has greater digestibility and Cu(HMTBa)2 and Mn(HMTBa)2 have greater digestibility and retention rates compared with their inorganic sulfates, if included in a corn-SBM diet. Supplementation of organic microminerals also improves the digestibility of P in a corn-SBM diet.


apparent total tract digestibility; inorganic microminerals; organic microminerals; pigs; retention

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