Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Merlin D. Lindemann


Pigs fed mycotoxin contaminated diets at high concentrations will result in a detriment to health and performance. An initial study and a follow-up study were conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding increasing levels of mycotoxin-containing corn fines on growth performance, diet preference of pigs, and two possible mitigants.

The initial study was a 3 x 2 factorial containing three levels of fines (0, 10, and 20%, Diets 1-3, respectively) and either 0 ppm (Diets 1-3) or 40 ppm boron (Diets 4-6; Diets 4-6 were Diets 1-3, respectively, plus boron) as sodium tetraborate decahydrate as a possible mitigant. In this experiment, 144 crossbred pigs (mean initial BW = 10.20 ± 0.23 kg) were blocked by sex and BW and randomly allotted to dietary treatments for a total of 6 replicates (4 pigs/pen) for a 21-day growth performance trial. Body weight (BW), average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), and gain:feed (G:F) were determined each week. On day 21, the heaviest and lightest pig within each pen were selected for serum clinical chemistry analysis. The growth performance measures were not affected by the addition of the fines in the diet. As the fines in the diet were increased, clinical chemistry was largely unaffected except for an increase in glucose and a decrease in cholesterol (P = 0.03 and P < 0.01, respectively). No conclusion of boron can be made since no mycotoxin induced detriment was observed. To assess preference, 48 crossbred pigs (mean initial BW = 9.18 kg ± 0.12 kg) were blocked by sex and BW and randomly allotted to 1 of 3 treatment comparisons including: Comparison 1) Diet 1 vs. Diet 2; Comparison 2) Diet 1 vs. Diet 3; and Comparison 3) Diet 2 vs. Diet 3. There was a total of 4 replicates (4 pigs/pen) for this 21-day preference trial. Overall, for Comparisons 2 and 3, pigs exhibited the ability to discern (P < 0.01) between the diets and preferred the diet containing less fines. Comparison 1 showed no statistical preference but numerically, the pigs preferred the diet containing less fines. This initial study demonstrated that pigs can differentiate and choose between diets containing these mycotoxins but when not given a choice, no detriment occurred to growth performance within the framework of this assessment.

The follow-up study conducted increased the inclusion of the fines (0, 20, 40, 60% fines; Diets 1-4, respectively) compared to the first study (20% fines max) as well as an increased duration. Diet 5 was created by adding 40 ppm boron as sodium tetraborate decahydrate to Diet 4 and Diet 6 was created by adding 0.25% Biofix Plus with FUMzyme (DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, NJ) to Diet 4. To evaluate these levels, there were a total of 150 crossbred pigs (mean initial BW: 6.42 ± 0.06 kg; n = 90 barrows and 60 gilts) that were blocked by body weight (BW) and sex, randomly allotted within block to 6 dietary treatments, and housed 5 pigs/pen resulting in a total of 5 replicates. Dietary treatments were fed for a total of 6 weeks; thereafter, all pigs received a common corn-soybean meal basal diet without fines for 2 weeks. BW, ADG, ADFI, and G:F were determined weekly and the lightest, median, and heaviest pigs in a pen were selected at week 3 and serum was collected from those pigs on week 3, 6, and 8. Serum clinical chemistry and sphinganine:sphingosine ratio (SA:SO) was determined for week 6. Increasing fines linearly decreased ADG during Wk 1-6 (P = 0.03) but Biofix Plus with FUMzyme ameliorated 57% of the lost ADG compared to Diet 4. SA:SO linearly increased as fines in the diet increased (Diets 1-4; P = 0.001) but the addition of Biofix Plus with FUMzyme ameliorated 95% of this increased SA:SO resulting from the addition of fines in Diet 4. Increased experiment duration and dietary fines resulted in a detriment to the pigs but the additive Biofix Plus with FUMzyme ameliorated a portion of the detriment and boron showed no effect.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)