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Effects of an Algae-Modified Montmorillonite Clay in Diets Contaminated with Deoxynivalenol on Nursery Pig Growth Performance

27 February 2014

Algae-modified montmorillonite clay, a new mycotoxin binder, did not offset reductions in weaner performance caused by high levels of deoxynivalenol in pelleted diets, researchers told the 2013 Kansas State University Swine Industry Day.

A total of 280 nursery pigs (PIC 327 × 1050, initially 21.9 lb and 35 days of age) were used in a 21-day growth trial to evaluate the effects of an algae-modified montmorillonite clay (MMi) on nursery pig performance when fed diets contaminated with the mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON).

In their paper, the J.A. Erceg and co-authors explain that the efficacy of the new clay product had not been studied. MMi is produced using a patented processing method in which algal polysaccharides are used to expand the layers of the montmorillonite clay. This expansion of the clay layers may provide a substrate for increased adsorption, which could mitigate the negative effects of DON on pig performance.

Pigs were allotted to pens by weight, and pens were randomly assigned to one of five dietary treatments arranged in a 2×2+1 factorial with seven pigs per pen and eight pens per treatment. All experimental diets were pelleted.

Mycotoxin analyses were conducted on the main ingredients at labs in the US and France, and these results were used in diet formulation. Naturally contaminated wheat (10.7ppm DON) was used to produce diets with approximately 5ppm DON.

The five treatments consisted of two positive control diets that did not contain DON contamination, with or without 0 or 0.50 per cent MMi and three negative control diets that were contaminated with 5ppm of DON and contained 0, 0.25 or 0.50 per cent MMi.

No DON × MMi interactions were observed for the entire study.

Overall (days 0 to 21), average daily gain, average daily feed intake and 21-day bodyweight decreased (P<0.001) in pigs fed DON-contaminated diets regardless of MMi addition.

Feed efficiency was poorer (P<0.001) for pigs fed diets with DON due, primarily to poor feed efficiency in the initial period (days 0 to 7).

Pigs fed diets contaminated with DON had greater (P<0.05) bodyweight variation (CV) within pen on day 21.

Although the addition of 0.5 per cent MMi to diets restored (P<0.02) average daily feed intake in the period from 14 to 21 days, no other treatment differences were observed for MMi inclusion.

This study suggests that including MMi will not offset reductions in nursery pig performance caused by high DON levels (more than 5ppm) when diets are fed in pellet form, concluded Erceg and co-authors.


Erceg J.A., H.L. Frobose, M.D. Tokach, J.M. DeRouchey, S.S. Dritz, R.D. Goodband and J.L. Nelssen. 2013.. Evaluating the effects of an algae-modified montmorillonite clay in diets contaminated with deoxynivalenol on nursery pig growth performance. Proceedings of 2013 Kansas Swine Day, p73-80.

Further Reading

You can view the full paper by clicking here.
Read other papers presented at the 2013 Kansas Swine Day by clicking here.

February 2014

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