Article Text

Effect of a dietary supplement of biotin on pig hoof horn strength and hardness
  1. NG Webb,
  2. RH Penny and
  3. AM Johnston


Supplementary biotin (1 mg d-biotin/kg feed) increased the compressive strength of the mid-abaxial sidewall region of pig's hoof from 9.3 (+/- 0.5) X 10(6) N/m2 to 12.0 (+/- 0.5) X 10(6) N/m2 (P less than 0.05). It also increased the hardness of this region, measured on the Shore A and D hardness scales (P less than 0.05). The leading edge of the hoof wall was significantly stronger than the sidewall (P less than 0.001) with a compressive strength of 14.5 (+/- 0.7) X 10(6) N/m2. This site showed no significant improvement in compressive strength or hardness in response to biotin. Biotin also produced a significant decrease in the hardness of the heel bulb on the Shore A scale (P less than 0.05). There would therefore appear to be a rational biomechanical basis for the finding by others that biotin reduces lameness. The Shore A and D hardness testers are sensitive to the improvement produced by biotin and may be useful as small, hand-held hoof testing devices for use in field conditions by the practising veterinarian.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.