Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science


Vitamins are defined as organic compounds required in small amounts to perform many essential functions in the animal body. All vitamins have different structures and perform different functions. Experimental research has shown that it is very important to supply adequate amounts of vitamins to insure normal growth and body maintenance of animals. Swine producers use completely mixed diets or the free choice feeding of corn and supplement, which includes proteins, minerals, vitamins and additives, as methods of supplying supplemental vitamins for pigs. These two methods have been accepted by modern swine producers as good feeding programs because they have supported excellent gains and feed utilization by the animals. Even though these methods of feeding vitamins have resulted in excellent pig performance, the method of supplying vitamins in the water has been previously used by swine producers when they have needed therapeutic levels of vitamins and antibiotics during environmental and physiological stress conditions. These stresses often cause an animal to stop easting but seldom do they cause an animal to refuse drinking water. By having vitamins present in their water, animals that reduce their feed intake could continue to receive their required vitamins. Another advantage of the drinking water method of feeding vitamins would be the elimination of a major portion of the mixing equipment and labor required for the usual methods of diet preparations. A small concentrated amount of vitamins could easily be added directly to the drinking water for a tank waterer or could be metered through a proportioner into an automatic waterer. The flexibility of this system would allow supplementation of vitamins either daily or for a longer period of time and thus would permit the use of wormers and medications through the same system. There may be at least three possible disadvantages of supplying vitamins in the animals’ drinking water. Pigs tend to waste water, especially during the warmer season of the year, leading to a loss of expensive vitamins. A second problem may be the variation in water consumption. Water consumption will vary from season to season, diet to diet, and from individual pig to individual pig. The third problem may be the instability of vitamins and separation of the vitamins in the water solution. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the growth rate, feed and water consumption, and efficiency of feed utilization of early weaned pigs and growing rats fed supplemental vitamins in the drinking water and to compare the performances of these pigs and rats to pigs and rats fed supplemental vitamins in the feed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Feeding and feeds
Rats -- Physiology




South Dakota State University