Effects of chromium picolinate, L-carnitine and thyroxine on the performance, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen balance in pigs weaned at 21 days of age
W. T. Cho 1,   In K. Han 1,   B. J. Chae 2,   Y. K. Han 3,   J. K. Ha 1,   J. Odle 4
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Department of Animal Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Suweon 441-744, Korea
Division of Animal Resource, Kangwon National University, Chunchon, Korea
National Livestock Cooperatives Federation, Korea
Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, NC 27695, USA
In K. Han
Department of Animal Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Suweon 441-744, Korea
Publication date: 2000-10-04
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2000;9(4):633–645
A 3-week-growth trial was conducted to investigate the effects of chromium picolinate, L-carnitine, and thyroxine on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, and N balance in starter pigs. Eighty starter pigs (Landrace x Yorkshire x Duroc, 21±2 days of age, 5.4 kg of average initial body weight) were employed in a completely randomized block design with four treatments: 1. Control: without additives, 2. CrP: control diet + 0.05% of chromium picolinate, 3. Carnitine: control diet + 0.5% of Camifeed (10% of carnitine), 4. Thyroxine: control diet + L-thyroxine injection (0.1 mg/day/head), 5 replications and 4 heads per pen. Although there were no significant differences (P>0.05) in average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI), all of the pigs supplemented with CrP, L-carnitine and thyroxine grew better than pigs in the control group. Pigs fed L-carnitine showed the best ADG (15% of improvement compared with control group) through the entire experimental period and feed/gain ratio was improved (P<0.05). Digestibilities of energy, dry matter, crude protein and crude ash were improved (P<0.05) by the inclusion of L-carnitine, chromium picolinate or injection of thyroxine. Pigs fed chromium picolinate showed the best nutrient digestibilities. In a N balance trial, excreted N was lower (P<0.05) in pigs of all treated groups than in the control group. The N in feed also was more efficiently retained in pigs of treated groups. The DNA content of the liver was higher (P<0.05) in all treated groups. Only the pigs fed L-carnitine showed a higher (P<0.05) RNA content. The protein content of the liver tended to be higher (P>0.05) in pigs fed chromium picolinate or injected L-thyroxine. Total liver DNA, RNA and protein contents were higher (P<0.05) in pigs fed L-camitine. It may be concluded that chromium picolinate, L-carnitine and thyroxine may be useful for improving growth rate, nutrient digestibilities, and N balance in pigs weaned at 21 days of age, although the feasibility of an economic return seems quite weak.
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