Effects of a supplemental zinc amino acid complex on intestinal integrity in acutely heat stressed pigs
Heat stress (HS) is one of the costliest issues in animal production and certainly one of the primary hurdles to efficient animal agriculture in developing countries. Despite advances in heat abatement systems, the warm summer months are still a financial burden for the US swine industry (> $300 million).1 Heat stress-induced economic losses are a result of reduced growth, poor sow performance, decreased carcass quality, increased veterinary costs, and mortality.1 In addition to elevated ambient temperatures, genetic selection for enhanced protein accretion (i.e. leaner phenotypes) results in increased basal heat production, and this decreases a pig’s thermotolerance. 2 Consequently, identifying nutritional strategies to alleviate the negative impact of HS is of critical importance and likely represents a multibillion dollar global market.