Swine Cluster 3 research has explored the prospects of displacing antibiotics with alternative feeding supplements that will improve the gut function of the peri-weaning piglet. With support from Swine Innovation Porc, a multi-institutional team of scientists has looked at the response of the piglet’s gut microbiome to alternative feeding supplements. Dr. Dominic Poulin-Laprade, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, says the performance of pigs fed a control diet consisting of 35 percent naked oats was compared to diets supplemented with bovine colostrum, with medium-chain fatty acids and yeast extract, with all three compounds and with the antibiotic chlortetracycline.
Quote-Dr. Dominic Poulin-Laprade-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:
The feed disappearance and weight gain data confirmed that the piglets subjected to the chlortetracycline ate more than all other piglets in this study, and accordingly, gained more weight. This was initially seen as a trend during the 14 to 22 days period, and then confirmed over the two weeks after weaning until the end of treatment’s administration. Interestingly, all feed conversion rates were similar, regardless of diet. The three experimental feeds did not match the chlortetracycline performance in terms of feed intake.
The treatments did not impact the adaptive immune response against ovalbumin. This was coherent with the lack of treatment effect on abundance of B lymphocytes.
We also observed negligible effect of the treatments on the immune and oxidative statuses of the animals. And the dietary supplements had only mild effects on the intestinal fermentation processes as monitored with pH variability, and no significant differences were observed concerning the intestinal volatile fatty acid concentrations. The diet treatments did modulate the microbiota composition and structure, but an additional sampling time point 10 days after weaning would have provided a better picture of the stabilized microbiota and sustainable impact of the feed supplements.
Dr. Poulin-Laprade acknowledges the supplements tested with the naked oat diet were not detrimental but they fell short of mimicking the animal performance obtained using prophylactic antibiotics.
For more visit Farmscape.Ca. Bruce Cochrane.Source : Swine Web