Piglets are born without enough iron reserves at birth and sow milk is low in iron. If no intervention is implemented, piglets can be susceptible to anemia. Common swine industry practice is to supplement piglet iron reserves with an iron injection shortly after birth. Previous research from the University of Kentucky investigated different levels of iron injection after birth. Older weaning ages (such as 28 days) with iron supplementation (100 mg or less) may not have adequate iron to prevent anemia after 21 days of age.
In the first study, additional iron supplementation was investigated, with either a dose of 100 mg iron-dextran or 200 mg of iron-dextran at 11 days prior to weaning and a control of no additional iron. Hematocrits were taken at day 0, 7, and 11 days prior to weaning, which was at 27 days.
A second study was conducted, comparing 100 mg and 200 mg iron-dextran injections at 1-2 days of age, followed by a 200 mg dose at 11 days prior to weaning at 26-27 days of age. Hematocrits were taken at day 0, 7, 14, 21, and 25.
Learn if additional iron supplementation resulted in increased weight gains or hematocrit levels and find out about future research related to this work.
Young Dal Jang is an Assistant Professor in Animal Science at UW-River Falls with a focus in swine nutrition. If you are interested in his research, please email him at email@example.com.