Growth performance, haematology and serum biochemistry of weaned pigs fed Lcarnitine supplemented diets
An eight week feeding trial was conducted to determine the performance, haematology and serum chemistry of weaned pigs fed diets supplemented with L-carnitine. Forty-five (45), ten weeks old weaner pigs with average weight of 11.26kg were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments of 0 (control), 75, 150, 225 and 300mg L-carnitine supplementation per kilogram diet. Each treatment had nine (9) replicates made up of individually penned pigs. Data were collected on body weight and feed intake while weight gain and feed conversion ratio were determined. At the end of the feeding trial blood samples were collected from all the pigs and analysed for haematology and serum biochemistry using standard procedures. Data collected were analysed using ANOVA. L-carnitine supplementation significantly (P<0.05) increased feed intake and daily weight gain. Highest weight gain (0.27kg/d) was obtained among pigs fed with 150mg L-carnitine supplementation. However, pigs on control diet had superior (P<0.05) feed conversion ratio (4.45). There were significant (P<0.05) differences in all the haematological and serum biochemical parameters assayed for the pigs except (P>0.05) mean corpsular volume and mean corpsular haemoglobin concentration. Optimal values were obtained for haematological parameters up to 225mg L-carnitine supplemental level beyond which red blood cell count was significantly (P<0.05) reduced. Lcarnitine supplementation improved serum biochemical parameters of weaned pigs with best combined effect at 225mg level. This study concluded that 225mg L-carnitine per kilogramme diet of weaned pigs reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoproteins with optimal growth performance and haematological parameters.
Keywords: L-carnitine, weaned pigs, growth performance, haematology, serum biochemistry