F5 : HUMIVE LIBRARY
V/ Department of Animal Science Elorida Agricultural
Mimeograph Series No. AN71-6 lxperimeptSS at a
June, 1971 C ainesv'e, Foi
INFLUENCE OF DIETARY ASCORBIC ACID
ON ?ERFORM.'NCE OF YOUNG SWINE I.F.A.S.- Univ. of Florida
G. E. Combs and H. D. Wallace-
Most research data Indicates that the pig is apparently able to synthesize
sufficient amounts of ascorbic acid to meet its requirements. However several
reports show an increase in rate'and-or efficiency of gain when dietary ascorbic
acid is provided in swine diets.
The present study was conducted to determine the influence of ascorbic acid
on rate and efficiency of gain when added to swine diets that were calculated to
be nutritionally adequate.
Three experiments were conducted with pigs weaned at approximately 3 weeks
of age. In all experiments the pigs were housed in concrete-floored pens equipped
with self feeders and automatic w7aterers. Two basal diets (Table 1) were used:
Diet I was a semi-synthetic diet and Diet II was a typical corn-soybean meal diet.
Experiment 1. Thirty pigs were allotted to 3 treatments consisting of Diet I
supplemented with 0, 100 or 200 gm. of ascorbic acid per ton of feed. The experi-
ment was terminated after 35 days.
Experiment 2. Twenty-four pigs having an initial weight of 9.6 lb. were
fed Diet I supplemented with either 0 or 2000 gm. of ascorbic acid per ton of
feed. The duration of the study was 35 days.
Experiment 3. Sixty pigs with an average initial weight of 12.9 lb. were
allotted to 3 treatment groups. Each treatment consisted of 4 pens of 5 pigs
each. Ascorbic acid was added to Diet II to provide 0, 100 or 200 gm. per ton
of feed. This experiment was of a 42 day duration.
The results of experiment 1 are summarized in table 2. The pigs fed the
control diet and the diet containing 100 gm/ton of ascorbic acid had similar
rates and efficiencies of gain. ?igs fed the diet supplemented with 200 gm/ton
of ascorbic acid gained about 9% faster than those given no supplemental ascorbic
acid; feed efficiency was comparable for these two groups.
Table 3 presents the results of experiment 2. The rate of gain, feed
consumption and feed efficiency was similar for the groups receiving either the
0 or 2000 gm/ton level of ascorbic acid.
The results of experiment 3 are presented in table 4. Neither the 100 nor
200 gm/ton level of ascorbic acid significantly increased rate of gain or improved
These data would indicate that with a fortified corn-soybean meal starter
diet dietary supplements of ascorbic acid are not effective in stimulating rate
or efficiency of gain. With a semi-synthetic diet (experiments 1 and 2) a
1/ Combs and Wallace; Animal Nutritionists, Department of Animal Science.
slight growthh stimulus was obtained at the 200 gm/ton level but not at either
the 100 or 2000 gm/ton level.
Three experiments involving 114 early weaned pigs were conducted to determine
the influence of providing young pigs with supplemental dietary ascorbic acid.
A'slight increase in daily gain (9%) was obtained when a semi-synthetic
diet containing 200 gm/ton of ascorbic acid was fed for a 35 day period. Pith
this same basal diet levels of either 100 or 2000 gm/ton were ineffective in
stimulating rate or efficiency of gain.
Performance was not significantly influenced when 100 or 200 gm/ton of
ascorbic acid was added to a practical type corn-soybean meal pig starter.
Table 1. Composition of Basal Diets
Diet I. Diet II
Ingredient lb, L b.
Ground yellow corn 73.30
Soybean meal 10.00 22.70
Dried skimmllk 40.00
Cane sugar 18.90 -
Corn starch 10.00 -
Corn oil 4.00 -
Salt' 0.50 0.50
Defluorinated phosphate 2.50
Calcium phosphate 1.10. -
Trace mineral mix-1 .0.10 .0.10
Aureo-SP-250 0.30 0.39
Vitamin mix- 0 03/ 0.10
1/ Supplied the following in ppm: Mn, 57; Fe,
70, Cu, 4.3; Co, 1.5 and Zn, 100.
2/ Contributed the following. vitamins per lb.
of diet: vitamin A, 2500 I.U., vitamin D,
400 IU., riboflavin, 6 mg.; niacin, 20 m.;
pantothenic acid, 6 mg.; choline chloride,.
40 mg., vitamin B12, 5 mcg.
3/ The following vitamins were also added
(mg./100 lb. feed): Thiamine, 50; Folic
Acid, 22; Pyridoxine, 50; PABA, 4000;
Inositol, 45 and Vitamin K, 50.
Table 2. Influence of Supplemental Dietary Ascorbic
Acid On Young Pigs (Experimental)
Ascorbic Acid (gm./ton) 1 100 200
Av. initial weight, lb. 11.40 11.40 11.30
Av. final weight, lb. 39.10 "9 40 42.00
Av. daily gain, lb. 0.79 0.30 0.37
Av. daily feed intake, lb. 1.17 1.16 1.31
Av. feed/gain, lb. 1.48 1.45 1.50
Table 3. Performance Of Pigs Given A Diet Containing A
High Level Of Ascorbic Acid (Experiment 2)
Ascorbic Acid (gm./ton) 0 2900
Av. initial weight, lb. 9.60 9.60
Av. final weight, lb. 37.20 33.10
Av. daily gain, lb. 0.30 0.81
Av. daily feed intake, lb. 1.16 1.18
Av. feed/gain, lb. 1.45 1.46
Table 4. Supplemental Dietary Ascorbic Acid For
Young Pigs (Experiment 3)
Ascorbic Acid (gm./ton) 0 100 200
Av. initial weight, lb. 12.90 12.90 12 90
Av. final weight, lb. 46.60 47.70 47.10
Av. daily gain, lb. 9.30 1.83 0.31
Av. daily feed intake, lb. 1.43 1.47 1.41
Av. feed/gain, lb. 1.78 1.78 1.73