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Swine Nutrition and Feed Technology
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1999;12(8): 1263-1272.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1999.1263    Published online December 1, 1999.
Effect of L-Carnitine and Source of Dietary Fat on Growth Performance and Serum Biochemical Parameters of Piglets Weaned at 35 Days of Age
Defa Li, Q. Qiao, E. W. Johnson, J. Jiang, F. Wang, R. Blum, G. Allee
The effects of carnitine in diets with or without added fat (5% lard or soybean oil) were evaluated in 72 Large White 횞 Landrace 횞 Duroc pigs weaned at 35 days of age. Pigs were fed a 1.30% lysine corn-soybean basal diet+15% dried whey+4% fish meal with carnitine at 0 or 50 mg/kg and either 0% added fat, 5% soybean oil or 5% lard for 6 weeks in a 2횞3 factorial trial (6 treatments, 3 pens per treatment, 4 pigs per pen). Addition of carnitine increased average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) in the second two weeks of the six-week trial and overall, but had no significant effect on feed per gain (F/G). Lard alone depressed ADG (p<0.05) in the last two weeks of the trial and overall, but the ADG for pigs fed lard+carnitine was similar to the control. Lard reduced feed intake in the first two weeks of the trial (p<0.05). Carnitine reduced the percentage of pigs with poor (ADG<375 g/d) growth (15 vs 40%; p<0.05). The greater uniformity of growth was most evident in low-weaning-weight pigs in the second period (16 vs 62%, p<0.005). Addition of fat did not produce any positive effect on uniformity and had no interaction with carnitine on uniformity. Carnitine addition increased serum total carnitione and short-chain acyl-carnitine levels (p<0.05), but did not modify free carnitine levels. Serum carnitine levels were lower at weaning than at 14, 28, or 39 days after weaning (p<0.05). Carnitine increased serum protein levels on day 14 (p<0.05). Addition of fat in the form of soybean oil or lard did not improve piglet growth performance. Addition of 50 mg/kg of carnitine to the diet of weanling pigs enhanced postweaning performance.
Keywords: Carnitine; Fat; Weaning; Pig; Growth

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