Additivity of effects from dietary copper and zinc on growth performance and fecal microbiota of pigs after weaning

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Four experiments were conducted to determine the interactive effects of pharmacological amounts of Zn from ZnO and Cu from organic (Cu-AA complex; Cu-AA) or inorganic (CuSO 4) sources on growth performance of weanling pigs. The Cu was fed for 4 (Exp. 1) or 6 (Exp. 2, 3, and 4) wk after weaning, and Zn was fed for 4 (Exp. 1) or 2 (Exp. 2, 3, and 4) wk after weaning. Treatments were replicated with 7 pens of 5 or 6 pigs per pen (19.0 ± 1.4 d of age and 5.8 ± 0.4 kg of BW, Exp. 1), 12 pens of 21 pigs per pen (about 21 d of age and 5.3 kg of BW, Exp. 2), 5 pens of 4 pigs per pen (20.3 ± 0.5 d of age and 7.0 ± 0.5 kg of BW, Exp. 3), and 16 pens of 21 pigs per pen (about 21 d of age and 5.7 kg of BW, Exp. 4). In Exp. 1 and 2, Cu-AA (0 vs. 100 mg/kg of Cu) and ZnO (0 vs. 3,000 mg/kg of Zn) were used in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Only Exp. 1 used in-feed antibiotic (165 mg of oxytetracycline and 116 mg of neomycin per kilogram feed), and Exp. 2 was conducted at a commercial farm. In Exp. 3, sources of Cu (none; CuSO 4 at 250 mg/kg of Cu; and Cu-AA at 100 mg/kg of Cu) and ZnO (0 vs. 3,000 mg/ kg of Zn) were used in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement. In Exp. 4, treatments were no additional Cu, CuSO 4 at 315 mg/kg of Cu, or Cu-AA at 100 mg/kg of Cu to a diet supplemented with 3,000 mg/kg of Zn from ZnO and in-feed antibiotic (55 mg of carbadox per kilogram of feed). In Exp. 1 and 2, both Zn and Cu-AA improved (P < 0.001 to P = 0.03) ADG and ADFI. No interactions were observed, except in wk 1 of Exp. 2, where Zn increased the G:F only in the absence of Cu-AA (Cu-AA × Zn, P = 0.04). A naturally occurring colibacillosis diarrhea outbreak occurred during this experiment. The ZnO addition reduced (P < 0.001) the number of pigs removed and pig-days on antibiotic therapy. In Exp 3, ADFI in wk 2 was improved by Zn and Cu (P < 0.001 and P = 0.09, respectively) with no interactions. In wk 1, G:F was reduced by ZnO only in the absence of Cu (Cu × Zn, P = 0.03). Feeding Zn decreased fecal microbiota diversity in the presence of CuSO 4 but increased it in the presence of Cu-AA (Cu source × Zn, P = 0.06). In Exp. 4, Cu supplementation improved the overall ADG (P = 0.002) and G:F (P < 0.001). The CuSO 4 effect on G:F was greater (P < 0.001) than the Cu-AA effect. Our results indicate that pharmacological amounts of ZnO and Cu (Cu-AA or CuSO 4) are additive in promoting growth of pigs after weaning. © 2011 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Animal Science

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