Eugenia Mircea

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DECREASED DIETARY Cu, Fe, Mn AND Zn LEVELS IN THE DIETS FOR WEANED PIGLETS WHICH INCLUDE WILD FLORA PLANTS

Eugenia Mircea, Arabela Untea, Rodica Diana Criste, Nicoleta Lefter

Abstract
Part of the dietary inorganic salts was replaced by wild flora plants with the purpose to decrease the excreted Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn. Two experiments were conducted on three groups each (C, E1 and E2) of Landrace x Large White weaned piglets. The piglets received the same basal diet (64% corn, 14% soybean meal); the difference was the addition of either Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), or stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), phytase and the vitamin-mineral premix. In the Echinacea experiment, the diet for group C included 1% vitamin-mineral premix, E1 received 3% Echinacea and 1% vitamin-mineral premix with 50% less Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn salts than C; E2 received 0.1% phytase in addition to E1. In the stinging nettle experiment E1 used 3% stinging nettle instead of Echinacea, and E2 received 0.2% phytase in addition to E1. The phytase was added in order to enhance the bioavailability of the plant minerals. In the Echinacea experiment, both the weight gains and the feed intakes displayed significant differences between group C and experimental groups, while the level of excreted Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn was significantly lower in the faeces from groups E1 and E2. In the stinging nettle experiment, the average daily weight gain was significantly higher in C than in E2, but the concentration of trace minerals in faeces was significantly lower in E1 and E2.

Key words: piglets, echinacea, stinging nettle, trace elements, faeces