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Effect of Oral Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Growth and Serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D Levels of Pigs

22 May 2013

Piglets given vitamin D3 orally at two days of age were heavier at weaning and seven days post-weaning and suffered less of a post-weaning check than those receiving no supplement, according to new research from the US.

Beginning in the spring of 2011, investigations on farms across the United States led to the anecdotal observation that most weaned pigs tested were vitamin D-deficient, according to Steven J.P. Tousignant of the University of Minnesota and co-authors there and at Abilene Animal Hospital in Kansas.

In a paper in Journal of Swine Health and Production, they explain that work then began on developing an oral supplement to be given to piglets early in life and a few farms immediately adopted its use. Reports from the field by veterinarians and farm staff described encouraging improvement in piglet performance.

This case report describes the effects of oral vitamin D3 on one farm during the summer of 2011, where 387 piglets from 36 gilt litters were assigned to either a group supplemented with vitamin D3 at two days of age or a control group.

Pigs in the supplemented group were heavier at weaning and seven days post-weaning, fewer lost weight during the first seven days post-weaning and their serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OHD) levels were higher 26 days post-weaning.


Tousignant S.J.P., S.C. Henry, A. Rovira A. and R.B. Morrison. 2013. Effect of oral vitamin D3 supplementation on growth and serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels of pigs up to 7 weeks of age. J Swine Health Prod. 2013;21(2):94–98.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

May 2013

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