The Effect of Ergot on the Performance of Weanling Pigs
Ergot reduces the quality of grain as a number of poisonous alkaloid-containing ergot sclerotia have replaced grain kernels. If these grains end up in the feedstuff of swine it may impair development and growth and decrease hormone concentrations like prolactin. The level of ergot that can be included in the diet of weaned pigs needs to be examined. Growth performance was greatly reduced when weanling pigs were fed high levels of ergot and feed intake was decreased as well after prolonged exposure. Ergot seems to impair mammary gland development in gilts as prolactin levels were depressed. 0.10% of diet can contain ergot and be safely fed to weanling pigs without affecting their growth, but these pigs should not be destined for the breeding herd.
The Effect of Ergot on the Performance of Weanling Pigs (full article)