CategoryAnimal Science - Swine Nutrition
Date Full Report Received09/04/2013
Date Abstract Report Received09/04/2013
Funded ByNational Pork Board
Oxidative stress is considered a potential cause of decreased feed efficiency in animals. Therefore, incorporating antioxidants into livestock feeds may improve feed efficiency by decreasing oxidative stress. This experiment was designed to determine if feed efficiency will be improved when a derivatized antioxidant that specifically targets the cellular mitochondria, the source of oxidative stress, is fed to growing pigs. Thirty barrows were fed a commercial swine diet for 6 weeks. Their body weight and feed intake was recorded weekly. Additionally, carcass composition was estimated by using ultrasound at the beginning and end of the experiment. During the six week feeding period, ten of the barrows were fed no antioxidants, ten were fed the underivatized antioxidant TBHQ, and ten were fed the derivatized antioxidant mitoTBHQ. When comparing the results of the control group with the TBHQ and mitoTBHQ groups, feeding antioxidants did not statistically improve average daily gain, feed efficiency, or lean tissue accretion. The inability of this experiment to detect differences these between treatment groups is likely because of the relatively small number of pigs in each treatment group. Although statistical differences were not detected, feeding mitoTBHQ increased average daily gain by 8.8% and improved feed efficiency by 6.8% compared with barrows in the control group. Future studies that incorporate greater numbers of pigs will likely be able to definitively establish the amount of improvement in growth rate and feed efficiency provided by mitochondrially targeted antioxidants.