FBA Issue 5: November / December 2005


The effects of mycotoxin adsorber on gilts



by Jose E. FERRER


THE OBJECTIVE of this study was to determine if the addition of the mycotoxin adsorbent Agrabond (a brand of Agranco) negated, lessened or postponed the effects of the mycotoxin zearalenone in swine feed, as well as determine the effect of all test diets on feed conversion.


On Aug 5, 2005, female pigs were purchased locally and test evaluated by a veterinarian, who determined that the animals were in good health. The pigs were randomly placed into groups of three, with each pig housed independently and having access to its own individual feeder and automatic water system. 


Each group of three pigs was fed a different diet. The base diets to be evaluated were as follows:   
• Pig feed with 20 percent protein (control group)
• Diets containing about 1.5 ppm zearalenone (group T1)
• Diets containing about 1.5 ppm zearalenone and 0.5 kg/tonne Agrabond (group T2)


The base diet was analysed for mycotoxins, E.coli and listeria prior to feeding. Testing showed no mycotoxins above the detection limits and testing for E.coli and listeria also showed negative. Diets were mixed with zearalenone crystalline material and analysed to confirm zearalenone concentration. The zearalenone level was analysed prior to the study and found to be of over 99 percent purity.  


All pigs were 21 days old at the beginning of the trial. For the duration of the trial, the pigs were inspected twice daily. Feed consumption was noted as were any health or behavioural related problems. From Aug 5 to 8, all pigs were fed standard base diets to minimise any stress associated with the move to new surroundings. Mixed diets were started on Aug 9. 


Pigs were fed each day, in the mornings and evenings. Each week, the pigs were photographed and weighed, and vulvar height and width were measured. These measurements were compiled and final calculations reported. The pigs were monitored by the veterinarian at the midpoint of the trial. 


From these results, feed intake and conversion was calculated. On Day 22 of the feeding trial (Aug 31), the pigs were photographed and weighed. They were then euthanized and each specimen was necropsied in the same manner.


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