An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of a second injection of iron dextran administered on days 6 to 8 of age. A total of 144 crossbred pigs (equal barrows and gilts; initial age 6 to 8 d; initial body weight [BW] = 2.86 ± 0.01 kg) were assigned to either the control (CON) or an added-injection treatment (+Fe). Pigs were paired by sex and BW within a litter and randomly assigned to the iron treatment within each pair. All pigs had received an initial intramuscular (IM) injection of iron dextran (200 mg Fe) <24 h after birth. Pigs assigned to the +Fe treatment received a second IM injection of iron dextran (200 mg Fe) on days 6 to 8. All pigs were weaned at 22 to 25 d, housed 6 pigs/pen, and received a common corn-soybean meal diet. BW and feed disappearance were recorded every 2 wk. Hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations were measured at birth, initiation of experiment (days 6 to 8), weaning, and the end of the nursery and end of the study. At the end of the study, 1 pig/pen (n = 12 pigs/treatment), closest to the pen mean was selected and slaughtered for carcass characteristic measures. The individual pig served as the experimental unit for BW, Hb, average daily gain (ADG), and carcass characteristic data whereas the pen served as the experimental unit for average daily feed intake, and gain/feed ratio data. The +Fe pigs had a greater Hb at weaning (13.1 vs. 10.7 g/dL, respectively; P < 0.01) and end of the nursery (12.1 vs. 11.7 g/dL, respectively; P = 0.01) compared to CON pigs. During the finisher period, +Fe pigs had a greater ADG (0.94 vs. 0.91 kg, respectively; P = 0.05) compared to CON pigs. Overall, pigs receiving the second iron injection had an ~4% increase in ADG (P = 0.04) from weaning to the end of study. The cumulative improvement in ADG from weaning to the end of study observed for +Fe group resulted in +Fe pigs having a heavier BW at the end of the study (∼3 kg; P = 0.04). Following slaughter, +Fe pigs had ∼7.2% heavier trimmed loin (P = 0.04) compared to the CON pigs. In conclusion, administering a second iron injection resulted in greater Hb at weaning and the end of the nursery as well as improved growth performance from weaning to the end of study weight and increased carcass weight at slaughter. The study aimed to evaluate the effects of a second iron dextran injection administered to piglets before weaning on hemoglobin concentration (Hb), growth performance, and carcass measures. Treatments included: a single iron injection administered within 24 h after birth (CON) and two iron injections (+Fe), one administered within 24 h after birth followed by a second iron injection administered 6 to 8 d after birth. Administering a second iron injection before weaning resulted in increased Hb at weaning and the end of the nursery period. Furthermore, pigs receiving a second iron injection had a greater average daily gain from weaning to final market weight which resulted in a final bodyweight difference of ~3 kg. The increased slaughter weight observed for pigs receiving a second iron injection was associated with an increase in trimmed loin yield. In the current study, providing a second iron injection before weaning was a practical method to improve weaning Hb in early life and resulted in a faster overall growth from weaning to the end of the study.
|Journal||Journal of Animal Science|
|State||Published - 2023|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science.
- iron dextran
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology