Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 277-287

Effect of different proportions of popped amaranth grain (Amaranthus cruentus) as an iron supplement in piglet diets on selected blood indicators

Miroslav I. Urosevic1, Isabel Hennig-Pauka2, Alexander Tichy3, Nenad Stojanac4, Radomir Ratajac5

1Scientific Institute of Reproduction and Artificial Insemination for Domestic Animals, "Temerin", Serbia
2University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, University Clinic for Swine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, Vienna, Austria
3Platform Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Vienna, Austria
4University of Novi Sad, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Novi Sad, Serbia
5Scientific Veterinary Institute "Novi Sad", Novi Sad, Serbia

Received September 8, 2014
Accepted April 1, 2015

The aim of our study was to compare the effect of various proportions of popped amaranth grain (Amaranthus cruentus) in piglet diets on selected blood indicators, such as red blood cell count (RBC), haematocrit (HCT), haemoglobin concentration (HB) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), but also growth efficiency (daily weight gain) and tissue morphology of the gastrointestinal tract. Altogether, 122 piglets (12 litters) were divided randomly into four groups (4 × 3 litters). Diet of the piglets in the control group was without popped amaranth grain. Starting from day 5 until day 90 of life, each of the three experimental groups was offered one of the feed mixtures containing different amounts of heat-treated popped amaranth grain: 20% (group A20), 40% (group A40), and 79% (group A79). When comparing the three experimental groups with the control group, in relation to the mean haemoglobin concentration and red blood cell count, higher values were measured in almost all periods of the piglets’ life, except for five-day-old piglets in the experimental groups. Only in 90-day-old piglets, group A79 tended to have a higher body weight compared to the control piglets. In summary, differences in haematologic indices which occurred between groups were inconsistent and of minor practical impact. With regard to the costs of the Amaranthus diet, beneficial effects were not obvious.


The present work is part of the research done in the scientific projects III-46005 and TR-31084 granted by the Serbian Ministry of Education and Science.


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