Main Article Content
Thirty-two cross-bred (Large White X Landrace) male weanling pigs aged 8-9 weeks and weighing between 7.37 and 7.62kg (averaging 7.49 + 0.36kg individually) were used to assess the haematological profile of boars fed varied dietary copper. Four experimental diets were formulated: control (diet 1) with no inclusion of copper sulphate, diets 2, 3 and 4 had 100ppm, 200ppm and 300ppm inclusion of copper sulphate respectively. The diets were used in a 6- month feeding trial divided into three physiological growing phases-weanling, prepubertal and pubertal. The thirtytwo animals were randomly allocated to each of the 4 treatment diets by weight; each treatment comprised 8 animals. In the weanling phase, the results showed that the Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Mean Corpuscular Volume(MCV),Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC),Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH), neutrophils, eosinophils, monocytes and lymphocytes were not significantly (p>0.05) influenced by the different inclusion levels of dietary copper. The haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations and erythrocyte values of the weanling pigs fed with diets supplemented with copper sulphate (CuSO4) were significantly (p<0.05) influenced by the diet. The Hb, leukocytes and the neutrophils values increased with increased dietary copper. The haematological values of pre-pubertal boars fed different levels of dietary copper showed that the PCV,Haemoglobin (Hb),Red Blood Cell (RBC), MCV and the leucocytes were positively (P<0.05) influenced by the dietary copper. The MCV, MCHC, MCH, neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes and monocytes were not however influenced by the dietary copper and their values did not follow any particular trend with increased dietary copper. With pubertal boars fed varied levels of dietary copper, there was no significant difference among all the haematological parameters studied except the PCV and the RBC which were significantly (p<0.05) influenced by the diet.
Key words: blood, weanling pigs, dietary copper