Document Type


Publication Date



calcium, phosphorous, vitamin d₃, swine, deficiences

Extension Number

ExEx 2067


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Due to the increasing cost of dietary ingredients, many swine producers are looking for the most cost-effective ways to meet the nutritional needs of their animals. One of the most costly ingredients in swine diets is inorganic phosphorus, which is normally supple¬mented as dicalcium phosphate. Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D3 each play a major role in bone formation, and a deficiency in these nutrients can lead to depressed growth, rickets, broken bones, and, eventually, paralysis in the hind legs. A lesser-known symptom of calcium/phosphorus/vitamin D3 deficiency is the formation of large nodules, called rachitic rosaries, on the ribs of market hogs. In addition to being an indicator of improp¬erly balanced diet, which could affect growth perfor¬mance, rachitic rosaries pose a substantial problem for meat packers because of the loss in value incurred when these nodules are removed during processing, resulting in damage to the ribs, bellies, and sometimes even the loins of these animals.


December 2008.