Skip to main content Accessibility help

Effect of organic and inorganic selenium sources in sow diets on colostrum production and piglet response to a poor sanitary environment after weaning

  • H. Quesnel (a1), A. Renaudin (a1), N. Le Floc’h (a1), C. Jondreville (a1), M. C. Père (a1), J. A. Taylor-Pickard (a2) and J. Le Dividich (a1)...


The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of the chemical form of selenium (Se) fed to sows (1) on production and immune quality of colostrum and (2) on piglet response to a deterioration of sanitary conditions after weaning. Twenty-two pregnant sows were assigned to receive a diet supplemented with 0.3 ppm Se from either sodium selenite (inorganic Se) or Se-enriched yeast (organic Se as Sel-Plex®; Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY, USA). Dietary treatments were applied during the last month of pregnancy and lactation. Blood samples were collected on sows before dietary treatment, on the day of weaning and 6 weeks later, and on three to five piglets within litters at birth, at weaning and 6 weeks post weaning. Whole blood was analysed for Se concentration. Colostrum samples were collected at 0, 3, 6 and 24 h post partum and milk samples on days 14 and 27 of lactation. Colostrum and milk were analysed for Se and immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations. At weaning, 40 pairs of littermate piglets were moved to rooms where sanitary conditions were good or purposely deteriorated. Piglets were reared individually and fed ad libitum. After 15 days, piglets and feed refusals were weighed and a blood sample was collected to measure plasma haptoglobin concentration. When sows were fed organic Se, Se concentrations were increased by 33% in colostrum (P < 0.05), 89% in milk (P < 0.001) and by 28% in whole blood of piglets at weaning (P < 0.001). Colostrum production during the 24 h after the onset of farrowing and IgG concentrations in colostrum and milk did not significantly differ between the two groups of sows. Weaned piglets reared in good sanitary conditions grew faster (P < 0.001) than piglets housed in poor conditions. Sanitary conditions did not influence mean plasma haptoglobin concentrations of piglets (P > 0.1). The source of Se fed to the dams did not influence piglet performance or haptoglobin concentrations after weaning. These findings confirm that, compared with inorganic Se, organic Se fed to the dam is better transferred to colostrum and milk, and consequently to piglets. They indicate that the Se source influences neither colostrum production nor IgG concentrations in colostrum, and that the higher Se contents of piglets does not limit the reduction of growth performance when weaning occurs in experimentally deteriorated sanitary conditions.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Arthur, JR, McKenzie, RC, Beckett, GJ 2003. Selenium in the immune system. Journal of Nutrition 133, 1457S1459S.
Awadeh, FT, Kincaid, RL, Johnson, KA 1998. Effect of level and source of dietary selenium on concentrations of thyroid hormones and immunoglobulins in beef cows and calves. Journal of Animal Science 76, 12041215.
Butler, JA, Whanger, PD, Kaneps, AJ, Patton, NM 1990. Metabolism of selenite and selenomethionine in the Rhesus monkey. Journal of Nutrition 120, 751759.
Devillers, N, Farmer, C, Mounier, AM, Le Dividich, J, Prunier, A 2004a. Hormones, IgG and lactose changes around parturition in plasma, colostrum or saliva of multiparous sows. Reproduction, Nutrition, Development 44, 381396.
Devillers, N, van Milgen, J, Prunier, A, Le Dividich, J 2004b. Estimation of colostrum intake in the neonatal pig. Animal Science 78, 305313.
Eckersall, PD, Saini, PK, McComb, C 1996. The acute phase response of acid soluble glycoprotein, a1-acid glycoprotein, ceruloplasmin, haptoglobin and C-reactive protein, in the pig. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 51, 377385.
Fortier ME, Quesnel H, Giguère A, Bilodeau JF, Laforest JP and Matte JJ 2004. The importance of dietary selenium on antioxidant status and hormonal profile in post-pubertal gilts. ADSA-ASAS-PSA 2004 Joint Annual Meeting, July 25–29, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 1p.
Giguère, A, Fortier, ME, Matte, JJ 2005. Rapid, sensitive and versatile determination of selenium in different biological samples. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 85, 533536.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – Association Française de Zootechnie 2004. In Tables of composition and nutritional value of feed materials. Pigs, poultry, cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, horses, fish (ed. D Sauvant, JM Perez and G Tran). INRA-AFZ, Paris, France.
Lacetera, N, Bernabucci, U, Ronchi, B, Nardone, A 1996. Effects of selenium and vitamin E administration during a late stage of pregnancy on colostrum and milk production in dairy cows, and on passive immunity and growth of their offspring. American Journal of Veterinary Research 57, 17761780.
Lacetera, N, Bernabucci, U, Ronchi, B, Nardone, A 1999. The effect of injectable sodium selenite on immune function and milk production in Sardinian sheep receiving adequate dietary selenium. Veterinary Research 30, 363370.
Lampe, J, Gourley, G, Sparks, J, Stumpf, T 2005a. Prewean piglet survivability: Sel-Plex® verses sodium selenite as selenium source in sow diet. Journal of Animal Science 83 (suppl. 2), abstract 205.
Lampe, J, Gourley, G, Sparks, J, Stumpf, T 2005b. Postwean piglet survivability: Sel-Plex® verses sodium selenite as selenium source in sow and nursery phase diet. Journal of Animal Science 83 (suppl. 2), abstract 206.
Le Dividich, J, Rooke, JA, Herpin, P 2005. Nutritional and immunological importance of colostrum for the newborn pig. Journal of Agricultural Science 143, 117.
Le Floc’h, N, Jondreville, C, Matte, JJ, Seve, B 2006. Importance of sanitary environment for growth performance and plasma nutrient homeostasis during the post-weaning period in piglets. Archives of Animal Nutrition 60, 2334.
Mahan, DC 2000. Effect of organic and inorganic selenium sources and levels on sow colostrum and milk selenium content. Journal of Animal Science 78, 100105.
Mahan, DC, Kim, Y 1996. Effect of inorganic or organic selenium at two dietary levels on reproductive performance and tissue selenium concentrations in first-parity gilts and their progeny. Journal of Animal Science 74, 27112718.
Mahan, DC, Peters, JC 2004. Long-term effects of dietary organic and inorganic selenium sources and levels on reproducing sows and their progeny. Journal of Animal Science 82, 13431358.
Matte, JJ, Girard, C 1996. Changes in serum and blood volumes during gestation and lactation in multiparous sows. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 76, 263266.
Meyer, WR, Mahan, DC, Moxon, AL 1981. Value of dietary selenium and vitamin E for weanling swine as measured by performance and tissue selenium and glutathione peroxidase activities. Journal of Animal Science 52, 302311.
Oldfield, JE 2003. Some recollections of early swine research with selenium and vitamin E. Journal of Animal Science 81 (E. Suppl. 2), E145E148.
Pehrson, B, Ortman, K, Madjid, N, Trafikowska, U 1999. The influence of dietary selenium as selenium yeast or sodium selenite on the concentration of selenium in the milk of suckler cows and on the selenium status of their calves. Journal of Animal Science 77, 33713376.
Rock, MJ, Kincaid, RL, Carstens, GE 2001. Effects of prenatal source and level of dietary selenium on passive immunity and thermometabolism of newborn lambs. Small Ruminant Research 40, 129138.
Rooke, JA, Bland, IM 2002. The acquisition of passive immunity in the newborn piglet. Livestock Production Science 78, 1323.
SAS, SAS User’s Guide: Statistics, Version 6.11 Ed., SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC, 1996.
Schneider, D, Bronsch, K 1973. Einfluss des Stallbelegung nach des sog. Fliessband- und Rein-Raus Methode auf die Ferkelaufzucht. Züchtungskunde 45, 5360.
Schomburg, L, Schweizer, U, Köhrle, J 2004. Selenium and selenoproteins in mammals: extraordinary, essential, enigmatic. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 61, 19881995.
JrSwecker, WS, Thatcher, CD, Eversole, DE, Blodgett, DJ, Schurig, GG 1995. Effect of selenium supplementation on colostral IgG concentration in cows grazing selenium-deficient pastures and on postsuckle serum IgG concentration in their calves. American Journal Veterinary Research 56, 450453.
Yoon, I, McMillan, E 2006. Comparative effects of organic and inorganic selenium on selenium transfer from sows to nursing pigs. Journal of Animal Science 84, 17291733.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed