Effect of Dietary Cadmium Levels on Nutrient Digestibility and Retention of Iron, Copper and Zinc in Tissues of Growing Pigs

  • Han, X.Y. (Key Laboratory for Molecular Animal Nutrition of Ministry of Education, Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Xu, Z.R. (Key Laboratory for Molecular Animal Nutrition of Ministry of Education, Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Wang, Y.Z. (Key Laboratory for Molecular Animal Nutrition of Ministry of Education, Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Tao , X. (Key Laboratory for Molecular Animal Nutrition of Ministry of Education, Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Li, W.F. (Key Laboratory for Molecular Animal Nutrition of Ministry of Education, Feed Science Institute, Zhejiang University)
  • Received : 2003.11.17
  • Accepted : 2004.04.07
  • Published : 2004.07.01


This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of cadmium levels on weight gain, nutrient digestibility and the retention of iron, copper and zinc in tissues of growing pigs. A total of one hundred and ninety-two crossbred pigs (barrows, Duroc$\times$Landrace$\times$Yorkshine, 27.67$\pm$1.33 kg of average initial body weight) were randomly allotted to four treatments. Each treatment had three replicates with 16 pigs per pen. The corn-soybean basal diets were supplemented with 0, 0.5, 5.0, 10.0 mg/kg cadmium respectively, and the feeding experiment lasted for eight-three days. Cadmium chloride was used as cadmium source. The results showed that pigs fed the diet containing 10.0 mg/kg cadmium had lower ADG and FCR than any other treatments (p<0.05). Apparent digestibility of protein in 10.0 mg/kg cadmium-treated group was lower than that of other groups (p<0.05). There was lower iron retention in some tissues of 5.0 mg/kg and 10.0 mg/kg cadmium treatments (p<0.05). However, pigs fed the diet 10.0 mg/kg cadmium had higher copper content in most tissues than that of any other groups (p<0.05). There was a significantly increase of zinc retention in kidney of 10.0 mg/kg cadmium additional group (p<0.05) and zinc concentrations in lymphaden, pancreas and heart of 10.0 mg/kg cadmium treatment were lower than those of the control (p<0.05). This study indicated that relatively high cadmium level (10.0 mg/kg) could decrease pig growth performance and change the retention of iron, copper and zinc in most tissues during extended cadmium exposure period.


Growing Pigs;Cadmium;Growth Performance;Nutrient Digestibility;Iron;Copper;Zinc


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