Copper

Digestibility and metabolism of copper in diets for pigs and influence of dietary copper on growth performance, intestinal health, and overall immune status: a review

Espinosa, Charmaine D., and Hans H. Stein. 2021. Digestibility and metabolism of copper in diets for pigs and influence of dietary copper on growth performance, intestinal health, and overall immune status: a review. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology 12: 13. doi.org/10.1186/s40104-020-00533-3. Link to full text.

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Copper hydroxychloride improves gain to feed ratio in pigs, but this is not due to improved true total tract digestibility of acid hydrolyzed ether extract

Espinosa C. D., R. S. Fry, J. L. Usry, H. H. Stein. 2021. Copper hydroxychloride improves gain to feed ratio in pigs, but this is not due to improved true total tract digestibility of acid hydrolyzed ether extract. Animal Feed Science and Technology 274: 114839. doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2021.114839  Link to full text.

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Effects of copper hydroxychloride and dietary fiber on intestinal permeability, growth performance, and blood characteristics of nursery pigs

Espinosa, C. D., R. S. Fry, M. E. Kocher, H. H. Stein. 2020. Effects of copper hydroxychloride and dietary fiber on intestinal permeability, growth performance, and blood characteristics of nursery pigs. Animal Feed Science and Technology 263 (2020) 114447. Link to full text.

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Effects of copper hydroxychloride on growth performance and abundance of genes involved in lipid metabolism of growing pigs

Espinosa, Charmaine D., R. Scott Fry, Matthew E. Kocher, and Hans H. Stein. 2020. Effects of copper hydroxychloride on growth performance and abundance of genes involved in lipid metabolism of growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 2020, 1–9. doi:10.1093/jas/skz369. Link to full text. 

Effects of copper hydroxychloride and distillers dried grains with solubles on intestinal microbial concentration and apparent ileal and total tract digestibility of energy and nutrients by growing pigs

Espinosa, Ch. D, R. Scott Fry, Matthew E. Kocher, Hans H. Stein. 2019. Effects of copper hydroxychloride and distillers dried grains with solubles on intestinal microbial concentration and apparent ileal and total tract digestibility of energy and nutrients by growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 2019, 4904–4911.

Effects of copper hydroxychloride and choice white grease on growth performance and blood characteristics of weanling pigs kept at normal ambient temperature or under heat stress

Espinosa, C. D., R. S. Fry, J. Usry, and H. H. Stein. 2019. Effects of copper hydroxychloride and choice white grease on growth performance and blood characteristics of weanling pigs kept at normal ambient temperature or under heat stress. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol.256:114257. doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2019.114257. Link to full text.

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Effects of copper hydroxychloride and dietary fiber on intestinal permeability, growth performance, and blood characteristics of nursery pigs

Most diets for weanling pigs contain highly digestible plant and animal proteins, but there is an increasing trend to include more fibrous co-products in diets for pigs due to reduced diet costs. However, feeding diets to nursery pigs with high concentration of dietary fiber may reduce nutrient digestibility, induce intestinal inflammation, and subsequently depress growth performance. Addition of 100 to 200 mg/kg of Cu from Cu hydroxychloride (IntelliBond CII; Micronutrients USA LLC; Indianapolis, IN) to diets improves feed efficiency and reduces post weaning diarrhea in pigs. However, there are at this point no data to demonstrate the effect of Cu hydroxychloride on intestinal barrier integrity of pigs fed low-fiber or high-fiber diets, and it is not known if Cu hydroxychloride influences immune responses of pigs. Therefore, 2 experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that inclusion of 150 mg/kg of Cu from Cu hydroxychloride reduces intestinal permeability and subsequently improves growth performance of pigs fed diets without or with high concentration of dietary fiber.

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Effects of copper hydroxychloride on growth performance and abundance of genes involved in lipid metabolism of growing pigs

Supplementing Cu to diets fed to pigs at 100 to 250 mg/kg may reduce post-weaning scouring and also improve ADG and ADFI. Addition of Cu at 250 mg/kg in diets for pigs containing 5% animal fat improved growth performance, and it was speculated that this is due to the ability of Cu to improve animal fat utilization and enzymatic activity. Inclusion of 45 mg/kg of dietary Cu in diets for rabbits improved body mass gain by upregulating mRNA transcription of fatty acid transport protein, fatty acid binding protein, and carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1, indicating that dietary Cu may influence post-absorptive metabolism of lipids. However, the effect of supplementing dietary Cu on post-absorptive lipid metabolism in pigs remains inconclusive. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that addition of 150 mg/kg Cu from Cu hydroxychloride (IntelliBond CII; Micronutrients USA LLC; Indianapolis, IN) to a diet based on corn, soybean meal (SBM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) improves growth performance of pigs, and that dietary Cu influences mRNA abundance of genes involved in post-absorptive metabolism of lipids in pigs.

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Effects of copper hydroxychloride and distillers dried grains with solubles on intestinal microbial protein concentration and digestibility of energy, crude protein, and acid hydrolyzed ether extract by growing pigs

The requirement for Cu for normal metabolism by weanling pigs is 5 to 6 mg/kg, but it is common practice to include additional Cu in diets for pigs to enhance growth performance. Several modes of action for the improved growth performance have been proposed, and one proposed mode of action is the ability of Cu to alter microbial activity. The apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of acid hydrolyzed ether extract (AEE) is improved if Cu hydroxychloride is supplemented to high fiber diets. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that inclusion of 150 mg/kg of Cu from Cu hydroxychloride (IntelliBond CII; Micronutrients USA LLC; Indianapolis, IN) to diets fed to growing pigs improves apparent ileal digestibility (AID) and ATTD of AEE, and the AID of crude protein. The second objective was to test the hypothesis that supplementing diets with Cu hydroxychloride can reduce the concentration of microbial protein in the small intestine or in the large intestine by pigs fed a corn-soybean meal diet or a diet based on corn, soybean meal, and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

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Copper hydroxychloride improves growth performance and reduces diarrhea frequency of weanling pigs fed a corn-soybean meal diet

Espinosa, C. D., S. R. Fry, J. L. Usry, and H. H. Stein. 2018. Copper hydroxychloride improves growth performance and reduces diarrhea frequency of weanling pigs fed a corn-soybean meal diet. J. Anim. Sci. 96(Suppl. 2):131-132 (Abstr.) Link to abstract (.pdf)

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Copper hydroxychloride improves growth performance and reduces diarrhea frequency of weanling pigs fed a corn–soybean meal diet but does not change apparent total tract digestibility of energy and acid hydrolyzed ether extract

Espinosa, C. D., R. S. Fry, J. L. Usry, and H. H. Stein. 2017. Copper hydroxychloride improves growth performance and reduces diarrhea frequency of weanling pigs fed a corn–soybean meal diet but does not change apparent total tract digestibility of energy and acid hydrolyzed ether extract. J. Anim. Sci. 95:5447-5454. Link to abstract

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Effect of adding tribasic copper chloride (TBCC) to diets for weanling pigs

Copper is an essential micronutrient for animals. It is involved in cellular respiration and connective tissue development as well as being an essential component of several enzymes. High doses of copper—about 20 times the nutritional requirement—have been shown to improve growth performance in pigs. This may be because copper has an antimicrobial effect in the intestinal tract.

When supplemental copper is added to pig diets, it is usually in the form of copper sulfate. However, another form called tribasic copper chloride (TBCC) has been shown to be equally effective and may be  more bioavailable, but it is not yet known how much TBCC should be fed to optimize performance. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the effects of adding 100 or 200 mg/kg TBCC to diets fed to weanling pigs.

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