Effects of weaning age and dosage of supplemented iron on the hemoglobin concentrations and growth rate of piglets
Kimberly A. Murphy, Robert M. Friendship, Catherine E. Dewey
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Objective: To determine the effect of weaning age and dosage of supplemented iron dextran on the hemoglobin concentrations and growth rate of piglets.
Method: One hundred and thirty-six piglets (from 22 litters) were randomly assigned to one of two treatments. Half (n = 68) of the piglets received 200 mg and the other half received 300 mg of iron dextran administered intramuscularly as a single dose into the neck at approximately 3 days of age. Pigs were randomly assigned to wean groups (7, 14, and 28 days) by litter. Piglet hemoglobin concentrations and body weight were measured at days 7, 14, and 28.
Results: Pigs weaned at 14 days of age and treated with 300 mg of iron were found to have significantly higher (P=.017) hemoglobin concentrations than piglets weaned at the same time that received 200 mg of iron. Iron treatment did not affect weight gain and almost all pigs weaned at 14 and 28 days were found to have biologically adequate (>9 g per dL) concentrations of hemoglobin at 28 days of age. Piglets weaned at 7 days weighed less at 28 days than piglets weaned at 14 and 28 days (P<.05) and had lower hemoglobin concentrations (P<.05) regardless of iron treatment.
Implications: Increasing iron supplementation of suckling pigs from 200 mg to 300 mg did not result in improved growth.
Keywords: iron, anemia, weaning age
Cite as: Murphy KA, Friendship RM, Dewey CE. Effects of weaning age and dosage of supplemented iron on the hemoglobin concentrations and growth rate of piglets. J Swine Health Prod 1997;5(4):135-138.
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