Copper is an essential component for pig performance

Farm Forum

ST. LOUIS — Newly weaned pigs are confronted by multiple stressors that can affect their growth potential. Meeting the pig’s essential nutritional needs during these growing periods is critical to improving feed intake and feed efficiency, and promoting growth performance. Although only needed in small amounts, copper (Cu) is an essential component of a functional immune system and contributes to optimal pig performance in the following ways:

• Optimizes nutrient absorption and digestibility

• Functions as an antioxidant to manage oxidative stress

• Acts as an antimicrobial agent and bolsters gut health

• Contributes to collagen development for tissue and bone health

• Is necessary for normal metabolic function

• Promotes reproductive performance

• Is essential for iron utilization

These findings are supported in the paper, “Multi-trial analysis of the effects of copper level and source on performance in nursery pigs,” published in the Journal of Animal Science (JAS), the world’s leading agriculture and animal sciences journal. The paper was co-authored by Yulin Ma, Karen Wedekind, Jeffery Escobar, Junmei Zhao, Mercedes Vazquez-Anon and Geoff I. Zanton of Novus International, Inc.

This recently published research revealed that supplementing nursery pigs with MINTREX® Cu chelated trace minerals significantly improved daily gain and feed conversion ratio compared with the same level of inorganic Cu. In addition, the marginal response to increasing Cu supplementation from MINTREX® was 2.1 fold that of the inorganic trace minerals. Weaned pigs fed MINTREX Cu, showed a reduction in diarrhea incidence by 23 percent. And, growing-finishing pigs fed the supplement experienced an improved immune response, as well as improved nutrient digestibility.

This year, Novus is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of its MINTREX chelates, which reflects its leadership position in the trace minerals market. The MINTREX molecule truly embodies the company’s commitment to delivering and supporting innovative products, through science, that support animal health and performance.

To learn more about MINTREX as well as Novus’s other minerals solutions, visit