Moderate tetrabasic zinc chloride supplementation improves growth performance and reduces diarrhea incidence in weaned pigs

  • Zhang, Gang (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Xia, Tian (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhao, Jinbiao (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Liu, Ling (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University) ;
  • He, Pingli (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Shuai (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhang, Liying (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2018.12.02
  • Accepted : 2019.04.15
  • Published : 2020.02.01


Objective: Two experiments were conducted to evaluate tetrabasic zinc chloride (TBZC) on the health of weaned pigs, and to determine the optimal supplemental concentrations and whether dietary TBZC could replace the pharmacological concentrations of dietary zinc oxide (ZnO) to improve growth performance and decrease Zn excretion in weaned pigs. Methods: In Exp. 1, 180 weaned pigs (8.92±1.05 kg body weight [BW]) were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 treatments, including the basal diet containing 125 mg/kg zinc sulfate (ZnSO4), and the basal diet with 1,200, 1,800, 2,400, or 3,000 mg/kg TBZC supplementation. In Exp. 2, 240 weaned pigs (7.66±1.09 kg BW) were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 treatments, including a negative control diet without Zn supplementation, a positive control diet (2,250 mg/kg ZnO), and 3 experimental diets with different concentrations of TBZC supplementation (1,000, 1,250, and 1,500 mg/kg). Results: In Exp. 1, the average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency (G:F) and diarrhea incidence responded quadratically (p<0.01) as the TBZC supplemental concentrations increased, and pigs fed 1,200 and 1,800 mg/kg TBZC showed the best growth performance. Moreover, 1,800 mg/kg TBZC supplementation showed the greatest (p<0.01) total antioxidant capacity and glutathione peroxidase activities in liver of pigs. Histopathological examination revealed lesions in heart, liver, lung and kidney, and mild or severe histological lesions mainly occurred with the supplementation of 2,400 and 3,000 mg/kg TBZC. In Exp. 2, 1,000 and 1,250 mg/kg TBZC supplementation in diets significantly (p<0.01) increased ADG and G:F of weaned pigs, reduced Zn excretion in feces, and had no effect on diarrhea-reducing compared to 2,250 mg/kg ZnO supplementation. Conclusion: The TBZC is a potential alternative to ZnO. The recommended concentration of TBZC in weaned pig diets is 1,000 to 1,250 mg/kg.


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