Author(s): Apple JK, Maxwell CV, deRodas B, Watson HB, Johnson ZB
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Abstract A total of 240 crossbred pigs were used in two experiments to determine the effect of feeding magnesium mica (MM) during the growing-finishing period on animal performance and pork carcass characteristics. All pigs were blocked by weight, and treatments were assigned randomly to pens (five pigs/pen) within blocks. In each experiment, eight pens were allotted randomly to one of three treatments: 1) a negative control corn-soybean meal starter, grower, and finisher diet devoid of supplemental magnesium; 2) the control diets supplemented with 1.25\% MM; and 3) the control diets supplemented with 2.50\% MM. In Exp. 1, pigs were slaughtered at the University of Arkansas Red Meat Abattoir, whereas pigs in Exp. 2 were transported to a commercial pork packing plant and slaughtered according to industry-accepted procedures. In both experiments, dietary supplementation of MM had no (P > .10) effect on ADG, ADFI, or gain:feed ratio at any phase during the growing-finishing period. In Exp. 1, MM supplementation had no (P > .10) effect on carcass fatness or muscling. Moreover, Japanese color scores were not (P > .10) affected by feeding pigs MM; however, American color scores increased linearly (P < .01) with increasing levels of MM in the diet. Although MM supplementation did not (P > .10) affect L* and b* values for the longissimus muscle (LM), there was a linear increase (P < .05) in LM a* and chroma values associated with increased MM levels in swine diets. In Exp. 2, carcasses from pigs fed 1.25\% MM had less (P < .05) fat opposite the LM at the 10th rib than untreated controls and pigs fed 2.50\% MM and higher (P < .10) percentages of muscle than carcasses of untreated controls. Moreover, the LM from pigs fed 1.25\% MM was less (P < .05) red and less (P < .05) yellow than the LM from pigs fed the control or 2.50\% MM-supplemented diets. Drip loss from the LM was unaffected (P > .10) by inclusion of MM in the diet. Results from this study confirm that inclusion of MM, an inexpensive, inorganic magnesium source, in diets of growing-finishing swine has beneficial effects on pork carcass cutability and quality with no deleterious effects on live animal performance.
This article was published in J Anim Sci
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences