Login | Request Account (DAF staff only)

Blood prolactin depression in growing pigs fed sorghum ergot (Claviceps africana)

View Altmetrics

Blaney, B.J., Kopinski, J.S., Magee, M.H., McKenzie, R.A., Blight, G.W., Maryam, R. and Downing, J.A. (2000) Blood prolactin depression in growing pigs fed sorghum ergot (Claviceps africana). Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 51 (6). pp. 785-791.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/AR99132


The toxicity of sorghum ergot (Claviceps africana) was assessed in young pigs over 28 days. Forty-eight pigs of both sexes and 2 breeds (Large White and Duroc) were allocated across 6 grower diets, balanced for fibre and predicted digestible energy, and containing 0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.3, 2.5, or 5% ergot sclerotia [the 5% sclerotia diet contained 70 mg alkaloids/kg (>90% dihydroergosine)]. Blood samples taken on Days 0 and 28 were analysed for prolactin and clinical, biochemical, and haematological indices of health. Feed consumption and liveweight were individually monitored. There were no clinical signs of illness attributable to ergotism in the pigs. Blood prolactin concentrations were significantly depressed in pigs receiving 9 mg alkaloids/kg (0.6% sclerotia) and by >80% in pigs receiving 35 and 70 mg alkaloids/kg, clearly indicating a potential to interfere with lactation in sows. Reductions in feed intake and poor feed conversion were observed over the first 7 days with >9 mg alkaloids/kg, but some tolerance developed later. Feed refusal was more pronounced for pigs of the Duroc breed. Over the full trial period, growth was reduced by about 30% in pigs receiving 70 mg alkaloids/kg, as a result of poor feed intake and feed conversion. Digestible energy of diets containing ergot was later found to be lower than predicted, which contributed to this result.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Primary Industries, Queensland
Subjects:Animal culture > Swine
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Live Archive:03 Jan 2024 03:25
Last Modified:09 Jan 2024 23:57

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics