Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2651



Summary and Implications

The mineral density of the femur in swine has been used to provide an estimate of bone content for a variety of minerals in previous research. For example, femur mineral content has been used to evaluate the efficiency of calcium usage in pigs through a recent study by Crenshaw (2007). The objective of this trial was to evaluate bone mineral when measured in the metatarsal and femur in swine. Sixteen gilts were selected for this trial based on their visual evaluation for the absence of structural soundness defects, feet and leg injuries, and health challenge indicators. All pigs were euthanized and the left femur and rear metatarsal from each pig were collected and sent to the University of Wisconsin to measure metatarsal and femur mineral content and area using a Dexa Scan. The metatarsal and femur mineral density was then calculated from these two values. A strong correlation was observed between the mineral densities in the metatarsal and the femur, thus concluding that the femur mineral density can accurately be estimated from the metatarsal mineral density.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University