Pig International - September 2017 - 28
28 ❙ PigInternational
How to use bentonite in
monogastric animal diets
Bentonite is an old and very versatile feed additive that remains
relatively unknown despite its low cost and availability.
Feeding earth (clays) to animals is not new or abnormal.
Wild animals always consume a healthy portion of earth
alongside their feed, especially those that look for food
below ground, such as pigs, but fine earth is found everywhere in the form of dust. In fact, young animals are
expected to consume some amounts of earth (which is
rich in iron, by the way) that their mother's milk is very
deficient in - perhaps nature's way to conserve efforts
where something is provided already in abundance.
Clay is composed of very fine grains of earth or
rock (silica) combined with one or more minerals (calcium, sodium, potassium, etc.), giving form to different
classes of clay. The very basic properties of all clays
beyond their fine granular nature are a high affinity to
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BY IOANNIS MAVROMICHALIS