Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

Major Professor

Marvin C. Bell

Committee Members

Frank B. Massincupp, Curtis C. Melton


Effects of dietary selenium on reproductive performance and blood selenium status of sows and their progeny and of dietary selenium, copper and zinc on growth characteristics, selected blood parameters, and carcass traits in growing-finishing swine were evaluated in three experiments. In the first experiment, forty-eight Duroc barrows and gilts were allotted by sex and weight to six dietary treatments. They were fed a 16% crude protein diet containing .08 ppm selenium, 12.5 ppm copper, and 82 ppm zinc alone or supplemented with: .1 ppm selenium; 125 ppm copper; 80 ppm zinc; .1 ppm selenium plus 80 ppm zinc. As each animal reached 100 kg a blood sample was taken but no treatment differences (P>.05) for RBC selenium-75 uptake, plasma selenium, copper and zinc, whole blood selenium, or hematocrit were found. Overall average daily gain was not significantly different between treatments. In the second experiment, four groups of six Duroc sows were fed basal corn-soybean meal or corn-soybean meal-tankage diets each with or without .1 ppm supplemental selenium. The basal diets contained .1 ppm natural selenium. Changes from the 28th day of gestation through the 56th day of lactation in whole blood and plasma selenium concentrations and RBC selenium-75 uptake indicated greatest demand for selenium came immediately after parturition but treatment differences (P<.05) were evident only at the 112th day of gestation, and 28th day of lactation. At the 28th day of lactation, the selenium supplemented sows had higher plasma (P<.05) and whole blood (P<.01) selenium concentrations than the unsupplemented sows. Seventy-two of the progeny of these sows were allotted to treatments as in experiment # 1. Upon reaching 100 kg, the pigs were slaughtered and blood and carcass data collected. The selenium content of the last rib longissimus muscle was increased by the addition of selenium to either the sow diet (P<.05) or the growing-finishing diet (P<.001). Plasma selenium was increased (P<.05) by additional selenium in the growing-finishing diet but was not significantly affected by dietary selenium levels of the sow. Average daily gain and longissimus dry matter were significantly increased in pigs fed additional zinc. Feed efficiency was not significantly affected by treatment.

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