Effects of Antibiotics, Zinc Oxide or a Rare Earth Mineral-Yeast Product on Performance, Nutrient Digestibility and Serum Parameters in Weanling Pigs

  • Han, Yung-Keun (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Sungkyunkwan University) ;
  • Thacker, Philip A. (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Sungkyunkwan University)
  • Received : 2009.11.10
  • Accepted : 2010.01.20
  • Published : 2010.08.01


Two experiments were conducted to compare the effects of feeding a newly-developed rare earth mineral-yeast product, zinc oxide (ZnO) or antibiotics on the performance, nutrient digestibility and serum parameters of weanling pigs. In experiment 1, 150 crossbred barrows (24 d old and 6.28 kg BW) were fed one of five dietary treatments consisting of an unsupplemented basal diet or the basal diet supplemented with antibiotics (33 ppm tiamulin and 100 ppm chlortetracycline), ZnO (1,500 or 2,500 ppm) or 0.1% peptide-bound rare earth mineral-yeast. In experiment 2, 576 crossbred barrows (28 d old and 7.20 kg BW) were fed the same diets as those used in experiment 1 modified only by the addition of 1.0% Celite 545 to all diets as a digestibility marker. However, the negative control was not included. In experiment 1, weight gain was significantly lower (p<0.05) for pigs fed the negative control than for pigs fed diets supplemented with antibiotics, ZnO, or rare earth mineral-yeast. Pig performance did not differ between pigs fed the four supplemented diets. In experiment 2, there were no differences in performance between pigs fed diets supplemented with antibiotic, ZnO or rare earth mineral-yeast. The digestibility of dry matter, crude protein, calcium, phosphorus and energy were significantly (p<0.01) higher on the rare earth mineral-yeast diet than on diets supplemented with ZnO. In addition, pigs fed the diet supplemented with rare earth mineral-yeast had significantly (p<0.05) higher digestibility of histidine, lysine, threonine and valine than pigs fed the ZnO supplemented diets. Digestibility coefficients for pigs fed antibiotics tended to be intermediate to those of pigs fed rare earth mineralyeast or ZnO. In conclusion, the performance of pigs fed rare earth mineral-yeast was basically equal to that of pigs fed antibiotics or ZnO indicating that rare earth mineral-yeast can be successfully used as a growth promoter in diets fed to nursery pigs. The effects of rare earth mineral-yeast appeared to be mediated through improvements in nutrient digestibility.


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