SWEET IRON – A MOIST, HIGHLY PALATABLE ORAL IRON SUPPLEMENT FOR NURSING PIGS.
A minimal postnatal body store of iron, little iron available from milk and a rapid growth rate in the first three weeks assures that iron will be the first nutrient deficiency a nursing pig encounters. This is especially true when nursing pigs have no access to a natural source of iron, such as soil. Without supplemental iron the nursing pig will not survive.
Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, a protein compromising about one-third the weight of a red blood cell. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Without adequate hemoglobin the pig becomes anemic, the body can not eliminate carbon dioxide and sever weakness sets in quickly. The nursing process is reduced and the pig will become lethargic. Death can occur from chilling, crushing or from a sudden shortage of oxygen. Even if the pig survives the initial drop in hemoglobin level the immune and respiratory systems may be compromised and death can occur due to secondary infection or other diseases.
In the early days of confinement rearing, swine producers placed soil in the pens to provide nursing pigs with a source of iron. Since pigs have a natural instinct to root they are attracted to soil and soil like substances. The development of injectable iron dextran made administration simpler but it eliminated the ability to support the rooting instinct that assists the nursing pig in developing habits associated with consuming dry feed. What became a favorite of many producers were dry feeding iron products sold by every major feed company. The product supported the pig’s natural instinct to root and provided supplemental iron.
While changes in swine feeding practices and improved injectable iron products have resulted in the demise of most of these feeding iron products, SWEET IRON remains a viable market alternative and is considered the best selling feeding iron on the market today. This is a testament to its quality and effectiveness as well as International Nutrition’s commitment to the proven value of supporting a pig’s instinct to root while providing a quality iron supplement. In excess of 3,000,000 lbs of SWEET IRON has been sold in the last 30 years with no complaint that it did not perform as expected.
SWEET IRON, when fed according to directions, will support a healthy hemoglobin level in nursing pigs. A 21 day feeding study done at CN Laboratories in Courtland, Minnesota showed that SWEET IRON is capable of sustaining a healthy blood hemoglobin level in nursing pigs injected with 100 mg of iron at birth compared to those injected with 100 mg of iron at birth and at 7 days of age. In addition, SWEET IRON can be used as a vehicle to administer other oral compounds to nursing pigs since they will consume more than is required to supply adequate iron. Compounds such as vitamins, enzymes and probiotic preparations can all be mixed with SWEET IRON. Of course it is important to test these mixtures on a few pigs to make sure the amount of SWEET IRON consumed is adequate and the moistness and palatability of SWEET IRON is not compromised by the addition of other compounds.
SWEET IRON is packaged in a 12.5 lb., heavy plastic bag to assure moistness and aroma. A new package being launch in late 2011 provides an easy opening tear strip that makes using a knife unnecessary and a zipper closure to help maintain moistness and aroma after opening. Four 12.5 lb. bags are packaged in a sturdy cardboard box for easy handling, storage and shipment.
In Conclusion: SWEET IRON is a valuable tool for the swine producer because:
- SWEET IRON will support a healthy hemoglobin level
- SWEET IRON will stimulate the pig’s natural instinct to root
- SWEET IRON provides multiple iron sources to assure efficacy
- SWEET IRON can be used to help increase dry feed consumption
- SWEET IRON is an attractant that can be used to direct nursing pigs to a particular area of their pen
- SWEET IRON can be used as a vehicle for offering other compounds to pigs while they are still nursing and before they are consuming dry feeds