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Coping with shortage of Vitamin A and E in swine diets

By: Jae Cheol Jang, Lee Johnston, Jerry Shurson and Pedro Urriola - University of Minnesota
Reprinted as posted on Swine Minnesota blog.

In January, the swine nutritionist team at the University of Minnesota shared in National Hog Farmer, how to cope with the shortage of vitamins A and E in swine diets.

Usually, vitamins A and E are added to swine diets at up to 4 times the recommendation made by the National Research council. This is due in part to the variability of requirements in swine. However, a system-wide approach could help the industry to cope with the increase in price and the limited supply.
A wide range of alternatives are proposed to make up for the shortage:
  • Rely on body reserves
  • Add ingredients with high levels of vitamins
  • Remove vitamins A and E from finishing diets 35 days before harvest (it has no effect on their performances)
  • Minimize storage time to avoid degradation
  • Avoid low-quality oils to increase vitamin E absorption by the liver
  • Polyphenols and carotinoids can be used as alternatives
  • Strategically use injectable form
In addition to those strategies, farm personnel need to be vigilant and look for signs of deficiency like impaired reproductive performances and Mulberry Heart Disease.

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