Livestock Research for Rural Development 21 (6) 2009 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Effect of dietary inclusion of zeolite on performance and carcass quality of grower-finisher pigs

H F Defang and A A Nikishov*

Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Production - University of Dschang P.O. Box 222, Dcshang - Cameroon
* Russian Peoples' Friendship University. Moscow 117198, Street Miklloya Maklaya. House No. 12
fdefang@yahoo.com

Abstract

The effect of cliniptilolite supplementation at 0%, 3%, 4% and 5% inclusion level in pig grower finisher diets were investigated. 48 Large White x Landrace pigs (half castrated male and half female) aged 11 weeks with an average initial weight of 36.5kg were randomly allotted to 4 treatments, each having 3 replicates of 4 (2 castrates and 2 females) in a completely randomized design. The control group (T0) was given a commercial grower finisher diet without clinoptilolite while the treatment groups (T1, T2 and T3) received the control diet formulated such that the percentage of clinoptilolite inclusion was 3, 4 and 5% respectively. Pigs were fed feed dry concentrate equivalent to 4.5% their body weight through out the experimental period that lasted for 135 days.

 

During the grower finisher period, a significant (P<0.05) higher daily weight gain compared with control was only observed with the substitution of 4% natural zeolite. No significant (P>0.05) difference was recorded among treatment groups for feed consumption and feed conversion ratio. For the fattening characteristics, the inclusion of clinoptilolite at different levels significantly (P<0.05) increased daily weight gain, reduced the marketing age, and feed conversion ratio (FRC) compared to the control. No significant difference was observed between treatment groups for internal organs (heart, liver and kidney) and chemical composition of meat but carcass yield and carcass length were significantly (P<0.05) higher for pigs fed with diet T2. Animals on the control diet recorded the highest (P<0.05) cost per kg gain compared to the others.

 

It was concluded that grower finisher pigs could be fed diet containing up to 4% clinoptilolite (Zikeevski origin) without adverse effect on the performance of the animals.

Key words: Clinoptilolite, growth performance, supplementation levels


Introduction

Clinoptilolite is a member of the naturally occurring zeolite family of minerals. It is formed by the devitrification (the conversion of glassy material to crystalline material) of volcanic ash in lakes and marine waters millions of years ago. As with other zeolites, clinoptilolites are crystalline, hydrated alluminosilicates of alkali and alkaline earth cations, having three-dimensional infinite crystalline structures (Mumpton and Fishman 1977). They are characterized by the ability to lose and gain water reversibly and to exchange constituent cations without major changes of structure (Mumpton et Fishman 1977). The wide range of applications of zeolites is based on their physicochemical properties. In particular, the basis of interest in the biological effects of zeolites concerns characteristics such as ion exchange capacity, adsorption and related molecular sieve properties. When used as dietary supplements, naturally occurring zeolite such as clinoptilolite, have been reported to improve feed efficiency, thus leading to a beneficial growth response in growing-finishing pigs and lambs (Pond and Yen 1982, Coffey and Pilkington 1989, Yannakopoulos et al 2000), while a better feed efficiency and egg productivity has been achieved in laying hens (Elliot and Edwards 1991 and Olver 1997). However, some researchers have observed no response on growth (Pearson et al 1985) or an adverse effect (Poulsen and Oksbjerg 1995) when using zeolite as feed additive. The extent of these beneficial effects seems to be related to the species and the geographical source of the involved zeolite, its purity and physicochemical properties, as well as the supplemental level used in the diets. Furthermore, the dietary and environmental conditions under which consistent positive responses to zeolite administration are expected should also be considered (Pond et al 1984). Zeolite tuffs are widely distributed on huge deposits in different regions of the world. Clinoptilolite tuffs are the most abundant natural zeolite with a zeolite of approximately 0.76 – 0.95%. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of supplementation at the 0%, 3%, 4% and 5% inclusion levels of natural Russian zeolite (Zikeevski origin) on the performance and carcass quality of grower finisher pigs.

 

Materials and methods 

Study site

 

The experiment was conducted at the farrow to-finish pig unit in the teaching and research farm of the Russian Institute of Animal Breeding Moscow. Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation (RF). The climate is continental, modified by the temperate influence of westerly winds of Atlantic origin; precipitation is moderate, 581mm/year, with a marked summer maximum that reaches a pick in the month of July. A considerable part of precipitation falls as snow (mid October to mid April)

 

Clinoptilolite

 

The clinoptilolite used as a dietary supplement in this trial was obtained from Kalyskaya region in the Russia Federation. It was mined from Zikevski deposit, crushed and screened to a size of < 1mm. The experimental zeolite contained 95% clinoptilolite and had a cation exchang capacity (CEC) of 130 – 150 mEq 100g-1, while the chemical composition (on dry sample) was: SO2 – 84.5%, Al2O3 – 4.59%, TiO2 – 0.24%, FeO3 – 2.91%, FeO – 0.07%, CaO – 0.64%, MgO – 0.71%, Na2O – 0.06%, K2O – 0.79%, P2O5 – 0.10%, and others 5.39%. The powder of clinoptilolite was weighed and kept in bags prior to its incorporation into the diets.

 

Experimental animals, procedures and management

 

Forty eight crossbreed (Large white x Landrace) grower pigs with average weight of 36.5kg were randomly assigned to 4 treatments groups, each having 12 pigs with 3 replicates of 4 (2 females and 2 castrates / replicate) pigs / pen in a completely randomised design. All the pigs were obtained from sows that were synchronized and farrowed within three days to each other. They were castrated at a week old and batched weaned at eight weeks. The animals were identified by ear notching. Pigs were housed in a temperate farm building environmentally regulated. All the 12 pens were identical, with same cover area (2m2 / pig) and where equipped with similar troughs for feed concentrate and water. The control group (T0) was given a grower finisher diet composed of maize, barley, wheat brand, soybean meal, fish meal, premix, mineral salt t and free clinoptilolite while the treatment groups (T1, T2 and T3) the diets were formulated such that the percentage of clinoptilolite in it was 3, 4 and 5% respectively. The composition and determined analysis of the experimental diets are given in Table 1.


Table 1.  Percent and proximate composition (% DM basis) of the experimental diets

Ingredient

Experimental diets

T0

T1

T2

T3

Maize, %

44.0

44.0

45.1

45.1

Barley, %

26.5

25.0

24.5

24.5

Wheat brand, %

14.0

11.0

9.0

8.0

Soybean cake, %

8.0

9.5

10.0

10.2

Fish meal, %

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.5

Feeding yeast, %

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

Clinoptilolite, %

--

3.0

4.0

5.0

Dicalcium phosphate, %

1.0

1.1

1.0

0.8

Chalk, %

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.4

Salt, %

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

Premix* (KC - 4)

1.0

1.0

1.0

1,0

Analysed nutritive values (in 1 kg DM)

 

 

 

 

Crude proteins, g

155

155

155

154

Crude fibre, g

47.0

44.1

43.9

43.2

Energy (ME), MJ

12.5

11.4

11.2

11.4

Lysine, g

6.7

6.8

6.8

6.8

Methionine + Cystine, g

4.7

4.64

4.7

4.7

Calcium, g

7.0

7.1

7.2

7.3

Phosphorous, g

6.5

6.7

6.8

6.9

Iron, mg

252

253

255

258

Copper, mg

14.1

14.1

14.1

14.1

Zinc, mg

117

117

118

117

Manganese, mg

61.0

61.0

61.0

61.0

Cobalt, mg

0.79

0.75

0.75

0.75

Iodine, mg

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

Vitamin: A, IU

10000

10000

10000

10000

               B, IU

2000

2000

2000

2000

               E, mg

26.6

26.0

26.1

26.2

               B1, mg

3.2

3.2

3.2

3.2

               B2 , mg

7.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

               B3, mg

22.6

22.6

22.6

22.6

               B4, mg

1300

1300

1300

1300

               B5, mg

86.5

86.5

86.5

86.5

               B12, mg

29.8

29.8

29.8

29.8

* Composition of premix (KC - 4):  Vitamin A: 1000 IU, D: 200 IU, K: 0.2kg, B2: 0.4kg, B3: 1.0kg,

B5:1.5kg, B12: 2.2kg, Chlorure de choline 4.0kg, Iron: 6.0kg, Manganese: 3.0kg Calcium carbonate: 0.8kg,

Zinc: 7.5kg, Cobalt: 5.0kg, Iodine: 27.0kg, Lysine: 62.4kg, Methionine: 50.0, Antoxidant: 0.5kg, Wheat brand: 1000kg

T0 – control diet without zeolite, T1, T2, T3 – experimental diets with 3, 4 and 5% zeolite respectively


The diets were fortified with mineral supplements and premix as suggested by the Russian Academy of Agricultural Science (1995). The animals were fed dry concentrate equivalent to 4.5% their body weight through out the trial period, which lasted 135 days. This quantity was adjusted once every two weeks  on the 4.5% body weight using the weight of the heaviest pig in the lot as the reference weight. Water was given ad libitum through automatic nipple drinkers. The lodgments and equipments were cleaned daily to avoid accumulation of urine and faeces. For the control of endo / ectoparasites all animals were treated with a single Ivermectine injection two weeks prior to the start of the experiment as prescribed. The pigs were weighed at the start and biweekly during the experimental period. Feed intake was determined by subtracting feed wastage and leftover from the total feed offered. Performance parameters monitored were weight change, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (feed: gain-1) and survival rate.

 

The cost per kilogramme of feed and meat were also calculated to determine the economic benefit of the treatments. For carcass appraisal at the end of the experimental period, 6 pigs from each of the treatment groups were randomly chosen (1 female and 1 barrow / replicate) fasted for 18 hours. Water was however provided ad libitum, weighed and slaughtered. After dressing and storing for 24 hours at 2 0C, carcases were weighed as described by the Russian Academy of Agriculture Science (1987) grading procedure.

 

The weight of heart, liver, and kidney were taken immediately after slaughter to determine the effect of clinoptilolite on the internal organs of the experimental animals. After 24-hours chilling at 20C, the carcasses were measured for the length and back fat thickness. Percent ham, loin, shoulder, lean cuts, was determined on basis of cold carcass weight. A cross section on the tenth rib was measured for longissimus dorsi muscle area. Data were analysed statistically using a one-way analysis of variance. The Duncan's Multiple Range Test was used to determine the extent of dispersion between the means.

 

Results and discussion 

The average data on feed consumption (DM) daily weight gain, and feed conversion ratio (g feed: g gain) for grower-finishing pigs fed graded levels of clinoptilolite are presented in Table 2.


Table 2.  Effect of inclusion level of clinoptilolite in the diet on the performance and fattening characteristics of growing finishing pigs fed different levels of clinoptilolite diets.

Parameters

Period

Diets

SEM

T0

T1

T2

T3

Feed consumption (g/d)

Grower (36 – 70kg)

1440a

1440a

1440a

1440a

30.4

Finisher  (70– 110kg)

3240a

3240a

3240a

3240a

48.7

Overall (36 – 110kg)

2227a

2227a

2227a

2227a

34.8

Average daily weight gain (g/d)

Grower (3–70kg)

448a

474a

504b

473a

27.2

Finisher (70– 110kg)

580a

589ab

605b

597ab

12.6

Overall (36–110kg)

501a

524ab

548b

527sb

14.8

Feed conversion

Ratio (g feed: g-1 gain)

Grower (3–70kg)

3.22a

3.04a

2.86a

3.05a

0.069

Finisher (70– 110kg)

5.68a

5.51a

5.37a

5.43a

0.060

Overall (36–110kg)

4.45a

4.26a

4.07a

4.23a

0.043

ab means in the same row for each parameter with different superscripts are significantly different (p <0.05)


In general, there was a treatment effect on the growth performance s of the pigs. No significant difference (P>0.05) was observed between treatment groups for feed consumption and feed conversion ratio in the grower and finisher periods. However, average daily weight gain was significantly (P<0.05) higher for animals fed T2 diet containing 4% clinoptilolite in the grower and finisher periods compared with the control group. Feed consumption for the T1 and T3 animals was comparable (P>0.05). Feed intake was equal in all the treatments (P>0.05); groups T1 and T3 containing 3 and 5% clinoptilolite respectively performed better in weight gain than the pigs on the control diet although not statistically significant (P>0.05). Therefore, zeolite supplementation had some beneficial effect on the studied parameters. The results of this trial are in conformity with those of Castro and Pastrana (1988), Mumpton and Fishman (1977), Vragula et al and Bartho (1984) and Shurson et al (1984) who reported increase in weight gain and better feed utilisation in grower finisher pigs fed 1 – 5% clinpitilolite. The increased in weight gain and better FCR could be attributed to the ability of zeolite to contribute towards a more efficient conversion of feedstuff nitrogen to animal protein. Further, the catalytic property of natural zeolite facilitates its absorption capability as feed additive. The fattening characteristics of grower-finisher pigs fed different proportions of clinoptilolite diets are presented in Table 3.


Table 3.  Fattening qualities of growing-finishing pigs fed different levels of clinoptilolite diets

Parameters

Diets

SEM

T0

T1

T2

T3

Age at attaining 100kg live body weight, days

2311.25a

2260.93b

2210.74b

2260.86b

22.05

Average daily weight gain, g

5018.6a

5246.2b

54810.0b

5275.2b

34.08

Feed conversion ratio, g feed g-1 gain

5.070.098a

4.780.071b

4.560.059b

4.720.064b

0.34

ab means in the same row for each parameter with different superscripts are significantly different (p <0.05)


The inclusion of clinoptilolite at different levels in the experimental diets significantly reduced the market age, increased daily weight gain and reduced FCR for grower finisher pigs. Pigs fed T2 diet containing 4% clinoptilolite had the best fattening characteristics compared to the other treatment groups. Although animals fed with the test diets performed better than the control, the T2 diet containing 4% clinoptilolite had the best growth performance indicating that the 4% inclusion rate was optimal and allowed the grower-finisher pigs to utilise feed nutrient efficiently. However, contradictory results have been obtained from researchers who have fed zeolite to swine. Shurson et al (1984) found that feeding clinoptilolite at 0.5 – 4% did not significantly (P>0.5) affect daily weight gain, daily feed intake and feed: gain ratio. However, when feeding clinoptilolite at 5% level, in a second trial, feed: gain ratio was significantly improved (P<0.02) over the control. The exact functions of the zeolite in dietary phenomena have not been well understood and await serious biological and chemical investigation. According to (Pond 1995) the increase in body weight and improved FCR in zeolite fed animals is due to the ability of zeolite to bound free ammonia in the gastro-intestinal track (GI) of the animal, thereby preventing its build-up to toxic level in the system. Data on carcass characteristics of grower finisher pigs fed different levels of clinoptilolite diets are summarised on Table 4.


Table 4.  Carcass quality and organ characteristics of growing-finishing pigs fed different levels of clinoptilolite diets

Parameters

Levels of clinoptilolite

T0

T1

T2

T3

SEM3

Carcass yield1, %

76.90

77.2ab

78.7b

77.3ab

2.65

Carcass length, cm

80.5a

80.8a

86.7b

80.8a

3.12

Mean back fat thickness, mm

 

 

 

 

 

             1st rib

30.3a

30.0a

30.1a

30.2a

0.14

             Last rib

37.8a

37.6a

37.5a

37.7a

0.19

             Last lunbar  

32.7a

32.4a

33.1a

32.5a

0.17

Abdominal fat2, %

2.95a

2.85a

2.37a

2.62a

1.02

Heart, %

0.48a

0.45a

0.46a

0.45a

0.05

Liver, %

1.76a

1.56a

1.57a

1.56a

0.02

Kidney, %

0.28a

0.26a

0.26a

0.26a

0.04

  1 expressed as a percentage of live body weight

 2 expressed as a percentage of chilled carcass weight

3 Standard error of mean

ab means in the same row with same superscript letter are not significantly different (P>0.05)


No significant difference (P>0.05) was observed among treatments groups for heart, liver and kidney nor was there any significant effect on the chemical composition of meat. However, carcass yield and carcass length was significantly (P<0.05) higher for pigs fed T2 diet compared to the control. The result obtained in this work for carcass quality was contradictory to the findings of Pearson et al (1985) and Coffey and Pilkington (1989) who reported feeding clinoptilolite to swine at 4 to 8% and 0.2 to 0.6%, respectively did not alter carcass characteristics in any way. The discrepancies in carcass quality and growth performance could be related to zeolite purity, geographical source, particle size, supplementation levels used in the diets, health status and range of the treated animals. Further, the dietary and environmental conditions under which zeolite is administered to the animals are factors which can contribute to variation in observed result as explained by Mumpton and Fishman (1977), Pond and Yen (1982) and Pond et al (1988) .The internal organs (heart, liver and kidney) for animals fed T1; T2 and T3 diets were relative smaller although comparable with the control. The reduction in relative mass of the liver and kidney, two metabolically active visceral organs, favored the diversion of nutrients to growth of other tissues in the body. Pigs supplemented 3, 4 and 5% zeolite diet had less but comparable lean and abdominal fat compared to the control. Therefore, zeolite supplementation had a lower effect on fat buildup in the body of growing pigs. The cost-benefit analysis of feeding different levels of clinoptilolite diets to grower-finisher pigs is summarised in Table 5.


Table 5.  Cost-Benefit of feeding clinoptilolite diets at different inclusion rates to growing finishing pigs

Cost

Diets

T0

T1

T2

T3

SEM1

Total feed intake, kg

301a

301a

301a

301a

0.01

Total Clinoptilolite consumed, kg

--

9.03

12.0

15.1

3.45

Total feed cost, Ruble

226a

242b

247b

252b

3.07

Total cost of cliniptilolite, Ruble

--

15.7

21.0

26.2

2.67

Total weight gain, kg

67.7a

70.5ab

74.0b

70.9ab

5.20

Additional weight gain, kg with respect to T0

 

2.8

6.31

3.2

 

Cost per kg pork, Ruble

20

20

20

20

 

Cost per additional weight gain, Ruble

 

56.0

126.2

64.0

 

Profit margin

 

+40.3

+1055

37.8

 

a-c mean in a row with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05)

1 SEM = Standard error of mean


The feeding of different proportion of clinoptilolite to grower finisher pigs significantly (P<0.05) affected feed cost. The total feed cost was significantly (P<0.05) higher for animals fed T1, T2 and 3T diets compared to the control. The extra weight gain and the profit margin obtained with respect to the control group for T1, T2 and T3 diet was 40.3, 105.25 and 37.80 Rybles respectively. However, the higher numerical (financial) benefits as a result of feeding T2 (4% clinoptilolite) diet would be of much interest to a pig farmer whose overall interest is higher profit. From the feed trial investigated, it can be concluded that supplementing standard grower-finisher pig diets with Russian zeolite (Zikeevski origin) at the 4% inclusion level shows some potential for improving nutrient utilization in swine with significant carcass yield thus making zeolite a suitable feed additive for nutrient reduction.

 

Conclusion 


References
 

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Received 8 March 2008; Accepted 20 October 2008; Published 1 June 2009

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