Supplementation of Low-Calcium and Low-Phosphorus Diets with Phytase and Cholecalciferol

Purdue University 1998 Swine Research Report. Supplementation of pig diets with microbial phytase has been shown to improve calcium, copper, phosphorus, and zinc utilization, and consequently reduce the excretion of these minerals in the manure (Adeola, 1995; Adeola et al., 1995). The level of Ca in diets may also affect the utilization of phytic acid-P through the formation of insoluble calcium phytate and/or reduction of phytase activity. Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D) plays a role in Ca and P absorption, and therefore influences their utilization. Mohammed et al. (1991) reported that cholecalciferol supplementation of poultry diets increases phytic acid-P utilization. Metabolites of cholecalciferol may or may not improve phytic acid-P utilization in poultry or pigs. Because Ca, cholecalciferol, and phytase affect phytic acid-P utilization and subsequent pig performance, the objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of dietary Ca and phytase supplementation on performance of growing pigs, and to determine whether phytase and cholecalciferol supplementation would improve the growth performance of growing pigs fed a low-Ca, low-P cornsoybean meal diet.