Calcium carbonate

Particle size of calcium carbonate does not affect apparent and standardized total tract digestibility of calcium, retention of calcium, or growth performance of growing pigs

Merriman, L. A. and H. H. Stein. 2016. Particle size of calcium carbonate does not affect apparent and standardized total tract digestibility of calcium, retention of calcium, or growth performance of growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 94:3844-3850. Link to full text (.pdf)

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Effect of particle size of calcium carbonate on growth performance in growing pigs

In poultry, the particle size of inorganic calcium sources has been shown to affect calcium retention and eggshell quality. However, little is known about the effect of particle size of inorganic calcium fed to pigs. Results of a previous experiment conducted in the Stein Monogastric Nutrition Lab indicated that calcium digestibility and retention were not affected by the particle size of supplemental calcium carbonate. A follow-up study was conducted to test the hypothesis that calcium carbonate particle does not affect growth performance by weanling pigs.

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Effect of particle size in calcium carbonate on apparent and standardized total tract digestibility and retention of calcium by growing pigs

Particle size is an important consideration for some feed ingredients in pig diets. Reducing the particle size of cereal grains and soybean meal in diets fed to pigs improves digestibility of energy, amino acids, and other nutrients, because feed ground to smaller particle sizes has more surface area on which digestive enzymes can work.

The particle size of inorganic calcium sources has been shown to affect calcium retention in poultry. Particle sizes of 1.00 mm or greater are recommended to optimize calcium retention and eggshell quality in laying hens, but coarse particle sizes result in reduced calcium retention in broiler chicks.  However, little is known about the effect of particle size of calcium sources fed to pigs. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test different particle sizes of calcium carbonate and determine which size optimizes calcium digestibility and retention by growing pigs.

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Effects of microbial phytase on apparent and standardized total tract digestibility of calcium in calcium supplements fed to growing pigs

Calcium supplementation is important for swine diets because most commonly used feed ingredients have low concentrations of calcium. In a typical corn-soybean meal diet for a growing pig, the corn and soybean meal contribute only about 16% of the total calcium, with the rest coming from supplements. Apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) values for calcium have not been reported for many common ingredients, and no values for the standardized total tract digestibility (STTD) of calcium have been reported. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the ATTD and STTD of calcium in five calcium supplements.

An additional objective was to test the hypothesis that inclusion of microbial phytase in the diets increases the ATTD and STTD of calcium. Results of previous research has indicated that inclusion of microbial phytase in swine diets often increases the digestibility of calcium, but the effect of phytase on the STTD of calcium in individual ingredients has not been reported.

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Effects of microbial phytase on apparent and standardized total tract digestibility of calcium in calcium supplements fed to growing pigs

González-Vega, J. C., C. L. Walk, and H. H. Stein. 2014. Effects of microbial phytase on apparent and standardized total tract digestibility of calcium in calcium supplements fed to growing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 92(Suppl. 2):36 (Abstr.) Link to abstract (.pdf)

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