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Rate of claw horn growth and wear in biotin-supplemented and non-supplemented pigs
  1. AM Johnston and
  2. RH Penny
  1. Department of Medicine, Royal Veterinary College Field Station, North Mymms, Hatfield.


The growth and wear rate of claw horn was measured in 42 commercial hybrid pigs. Half received a ration supplemented with 1 mg d-biotin/kg food daily, while the others acted as controls. The start weights of three replicates of 10 pigs averaged 25 kg and their mean finishing weight was 85 kg. Twelve pigs averaged 18 kg at the start and 118 kg at the end of the experiment. No differences in horn growth and wear rates were found between the biotin-supplemented pigs and the controls, or between the front and hind claws, although horn growth and wear both decreased with age. Claw horn grew at an average of 10 mm/28 days in the pigs taken from 25 to 85 kg bodyweight and at 11 mm/28 days in the pigs taken from 18 to 118 kg. The mean rate of wear of claw horn was 6 mm/28 days.

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