A total of 60 pigs from 15 litters were used during two experiments to assess the effects of maternal supplementation of Cr tripicolinate on performance and immune status of the offspring during the first 42 d after weaning. Gilts were raised on diets with either 0 (-Cr) or 200 (+Cr) ppb supplemental Cr from Cr tripicolinate. Their offspring were weaned at about 23 d of age. Pigs from dams fed supplemental Cr were fed Cr-supplemented diets after weaning and pigs from unsupplemented dams were not fed supplemental Cr. Pigs were housed in groups of three according to litter origin (six -Cr and nine +Cr) and BW. Feed and water were available for ad libitum consumption. Serum was collected 24 h after birth, the day after weaning (d 0), and, subsequently, every 7 d through d 28 for measurement of total immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgM. For the 42-d nursery period, ADG (511 and 531 g/d for -Cr and +Cr, respectively), ADFI (827 and 851 g/d), and gain:feed (0.62 and 0.62) were not affected (P > 0.15) by Cr. Total IgG was not affected (P > 0.10) by Cr on d 0 (7.6 and 7.7 mg/mL for -Cr and +Cr, respectively) or on d 7 (6.3 and 6.1 mg/mL for -Cr and +Cr, respectively), when the lowest concentrations were observed. By d 28, total IgG had risen (11.7 and 8.9 mg/mL for -Cr and +Cr, respectively) and was affected by Cr (P = 0.03). Total IgM followed a similar pattern and was lowest on d 7. In each trial, IgG at 24 h after birth was inversely related to IgG from d 14 through 28 in the nursery. Additionally, the lowest Ig concentrations occurred between 4 and 5 wk of age, rather than at weaning (23 d of age); this may represent a vulnerable period for weanling pigs. Supplementation of the weanling pig diets with Cr tripicolinate did not significantly affect performance and immune status during the postweaning period.
- Immune System