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Trace mineral supplementation in pig production: Less is better
B. Fuchs, U. Geier, P.Schlegel

Strategies in trace mineral (Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) supplementation to sow, piglet and growing/finishing pig diets are constantly discussed for optimisation. In the EU, the safety margins between officially recommended concentrations and legal maxima (EC Regulation 1334/2003) have become very narrow in order to limit environmental pollution, mainly for Cu and Zn. Mateos et al. (2005) investigated the current trace mineral supplementations on the Iberian peninsula and analysed concentrations generally beyond official recommendations. This practice suggests a lack of confidence by industry in the recommendations currently available, which originates on research conducted more than 30 years ago and are most likely no longer appropriate.


Within the EU context the dietary trace minerals have to be utilised at a maximum rate by animals to limit potential trace mineral deficiencies. The replacement of inorganic trace mineral sources by iso-dosed or reduced levels of organic sources is mostly recommended and has been successful in not impairing animal productivity.


Two types of organic trace mineral (OTM) forms are currently allowed in the EU either using hydrolysed soy protein or glycine as ligand to the mineral. The bioavailability of these two types was recently compared in piglets by two research groups using apparent absorbability, blood and plasma contents and performance as criteria. The mineral bioavailability of the tested glycinate was clearly improved when compared with the several soy protein based sources.


Within this context, a study was conducted by the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poland to measure the effect of reduced trace mineral supplementation using partially OTM either in form of soy based chelates or glycinates on the fertility, performance and status of sows and their offspring.


This paper is realised in combination of Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poland, Josera of Germany, as well as Pancosma.


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Article made possible through the contribution of Pancosma.

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