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Evaluation of Fat Sources and Inclusion Rate with the Supplementation of Vitamin A or Beta-carotene in Nursery Pigs

Elefson, S. and L Greiner

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of fat inclusion level and fat source with supplementation of either vitamin A (ROVIMIX® A 1000; DSM; NJ, US) or beta-carotene (ROVIMIX® β-Carotene 10%; DSM; NJ, US) on growth performance and vitamin A, D, and E status of nursery pigs (n = 216; 5.81 ± 0.92 kg). The study was a 3 X 2 factorial with main effects being no fat, 3% saturated fat (choice white grease), or 3% unsaturated fat (soybean oil) and supplemented with either 4 ppm vitamin A or 40 ppm beta-carotene. Pigs were randomly assigned to mix sex pens and dietary treatments. Blood samples from one pig per pen were taken at the beginning and end of the study to evaluate vitamin status. All data were analyzed using PROC GLIMMIX in SAS 9.4 with pen as the experimental unit. Repeated measures were utilized for growth performance as well as vitamin status. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) for average daily feed intake, average daily gain, gain to feed ratio, and body weight throughout the study. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in the vitamin status at either the start or end of the study, although there is a significant time difference (P < 0.05) for each of the vitamins. There was a three-factor interaction (P < 0.05) for diet X sex X time for vitamin D. Vitamin A and D values were higher at the end of the study than at the beginning, but vitamin E values were lower at the end of the study than at the beginning.

In general, fat inclusion level, a type, or type of vitamin A source supplementation did not affect the growth performance nor the status of vitamin A, D, or E in the nursery pig.