Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Husbandry

Major Professor

Summer A. Griffin

Committee Members

E.R. Lidvall, C.C. Chamberlain


This study was conducted to determine if mineral content of hair is of value as an indicator of the mineral nutrition of the pig. Eleven Duroc sows and ten Duroc litters were used from farrow to weaning, and forty-eight Duroc and Hampshire pigs were allotted to four treatments from weaning to market weight--control, high and low calcium and phosphorus, and control less trace mineral premix rations. The hair samples were analyzed for calcium, inorganic phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron and copper.

Calcium and copper concentrations in sow hair decreased significantly from farrowing to weaning; and inorganic phosphorus, magnesium and iron concentrations increased significantly. The pig hair decreased significantly in zinc, iron, copper and inorganic phosphorus from farrowing to weaning, while calcium content increased significantly.

The following observations were made on the mineral concentrations of the hair from the experimentally-fed pigs:

1. The magnesium levels were significantly lower in the hair of pigs on the high calcium and phosphorus treatment.

2. Inorganic phosphorus concentrations were significantly higher in the hair from pigs on the high calcium and phosphorus treatment in two of the three samples collected.

3. There was significantly less zinc in the red hair of pigs on the high calcium and phosphorus treatment in one of the three samples collected.

4. Calcium concentrations were the highest of the minerals studied in the hair.

5. Black hair contained a greater concentration of calcium and magnesium than did red hair.

6. As the pigs got heavier, there was a trend for all the mineral studied to decrease in concentration.

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