Livestock Research for Rural Development 29 (6) 2017 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Effects of β-glucan, organic acids and probiotic in the diet on growth performance and health status of weanling pigs

Nguyen Thi Thuy

Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture and Applied Biology, CanTho University, 3/2 Street, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City.
nthithuycn@ctu.edu.vn

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of extracted β-glucan (BGD), an organic acid mixture (OAD) and a proprietary probiotic (PD) in diets on the performance and health status of weaning pigs from 4 to 10 weeks of age. Sixty crossbred castrated (Yorkshire x Landrace) male weaned pigs (mean live weight 7.0 1.5 kg) were allocated to four treatments in a randomized complete block design. The pigs were allocated to 5 pens (replicates) with 3 pigs/pen. The control diet (CD) was based on broken rice, rice bran, maize meal, soybean meal and fish meal. For the experimental treatments the basal diet was supplemented with extracted β-glucan, an organic acid mixture (mainly fumaric acid, lactic acid, calcium formate and phosphoric acid) or a proprietary probiotic (providing Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus spp and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) at levels of 2g/kg,

Daily live weight gain and feed conversion in recently weaned piglets were improved by all the supplements. In the 2 weeks post-weaning, the piglets supplemented with organic acids or with probiotic suffered less diarrhoea and had lower concentrations of E.coli in feces than pigs fed the control diet or that supplemented with β-glucan.

Key words: diarrhea, E. coli, fecal score


Introduction

Pig production is dominant and rapidly developing in the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam. At householder scale, the farmers try to reduce feed cost by using locally available feed resources. However, commercial feed supplemented with antibiotics is still used for weaning pigs, as at this stage the pigs suffer the stress of weaning and there is often a high incidence of diarrhea, usually caused by E.coli . However, the world tendency is that pig producers should minimize and preferably stop using antibiotics as dietary supplements (Sheikh et al 2011).

Among a variety of candidates for the replacement of antibiotics, organic acids have been applied worldwide with reasonable success (Mroz 2005). A proprietary probiotic preparation has also been shown to improve digestion, inhibit harmful bacteria and enhance immunity in pigs (Le Thi Men 2015). β-glucan, a prebiotic extracted from brewers’ grains (Nguyen Thi Thuy and Nguyen Cong Ha (2017), has been studied in pigs.

The objective of the research described in this paper was to compare locally produced β-glucan with proprietary sources of organic acids and a probiotic, as supplements that could improve performance and health in recently weaned pigs.


Materials and methods

Animals and experimental design

Sixty crossbred (Yorkshire x Landrace) castrated male piglets, 26-28 days of age, from 12 litters (5-6 male pigs/litter), were used. The pigs were allocated into four groups of fifteen, balanced for initial body weight and litter origin. In each group, the pigs were divided randomly into five pens (replicates), with three pigs/pen. The pens had concrete floors with no litter, and each pen was equipped with a feeder and nipple drinker. Four diets (Table 1) were fed according to a randomized complete block design with pen as the experimental unit:

Photo 1. Pigs at 8 weeks of age
Feeds and feeding

The basal diet (control) was formulated to contain 19.3% CP and 12.7 MJ/kg of metabolisable energy (ME). Rice bran, broken rice and maize meal were used as basal ingredients in the control diet to provide 60% of the total CP of the diets, with the remaining 40% provided by marine fish meal and soybean meal. The β-glucan in treatment BGD was produced from brewer’s yeast cells according to the procedire descibed by Nguyen Thi Thuy and Nguyen Cong Ha (2017). The organic acid mixture was a commercial product (Poulacid) provided by Menon Animal Nutrition Technology Co., Ltd. The main ingredients were fumaric acid (15%), lactic acid (5%), calcium formate (10%) and phosphoric acid (30%). The Probiotic (Lacprobi) was provided by Vemedim Company and included (per kg??: Bacillus subtilis : 108-1010 CFU, Lactobacillus spp: 108-1010, Saccharomyces cerevisiae: 10 8-109 CFU, vitamin B1: 1.200 mg, vitamin K3: 850 mg. The additives were included at a level of 2g/kg of diet. in the diets, which were fed ad libitum with fresh feed offered at 08:00, 11:00h 14:00 and 17:00h. The refusals were collected the following morning before the first meal. Samples of feeds and refusals were stored at -18oC for analysis.

Diarrhoea score and E. coli in feces

Feeds offered and refused were weighed daily, The pigs were weighed individually, and their health status was monitored, at the beginning (4 weeks of age), and every two weeks for a further 6 weeks. Fecal consistency was scoring using a four-grade system, where 0 corresponded to firm and dry (normal); 1 to pasty; 2 to thick and fluid; and 3 to watery (Cupere et al 1992). Scoring was performed twice daily by two independent individuals and the incidence of diarrhea (%) was calculated as the sum of the total number of diarrhoeal pigs over the period divided by the number of pig days in the period multiplied by 100. The fecal score was calculated as the sum of the diarrhea scores over the period divided by the number of pig days in the period.

The levels of E.coli (CFU/g) in fecal samples were determined at 6, 8 and 10 weeks by the colony counting method. Homogenous samples were implanted in an appropriate agar environment containing lactose, and then incubated at 44C for 24h. The number of colonies having the shape of coliforms was counted and confirmed as E.coli by IMViC (Indol, Methyl Red, Voges Proskauer and Citrate) test (Tran Linh Thuoc 2006). The formula for numbers of E.coli (CFU/g) was:

CFU/g = N/( n1vf1+ … + nivfi)*R

N: The total number of colonies counted
f1: Dilution at each plates

ni: The number of plates in each dilution

v: The volume (ml) of dilution to grow in each plate
R: The positive rate

Chemical analysis

The chemical composition of feed offered and refusals was determined according to AOAC (1990). Dry matter (DM) was measured by drying the fresh samples at 105oC. Crude protein was determined by the Kjeldahl method. Total ash was the residue after ashing the samples at 550 oC and organic matter (OM) was calculated by difference. The ether extract (EE) was determined by Soxhlet extraction.

Statistical analysis

The data were analysed using the General Linear Model (GLM) of Minitab Statistical Software Version 16.0. Tukey’s pair-wise comparisons were used to determine the differences between treatment means at P<0.05. The statistical model used was:

Yij = + αi + βj + eij

Where: Yij is growth performance or faecal score; is overall mean averaged over all treatments and all possible blocks; αi is effect of treatment i; βj is effect of block j; e ij is random error associated with assigned treatment i in block j.


Results and discussion

Table 1. Ingredient (%) and chemical composition (% of DM) of the experimental diets.

CD

BGD

OAD

PD

Ingredients

Broken rice

17.5

17.5

17.5

17.5

Rice bran

28.3

28.1

28.1

28.1

Maize meal

29

29

29

29

Soya meal

13

13

13

13

Fish meal

12

12

12

12

Beta-glucan

0.2

Organic acid

0.2

Probiotic

0.2

Vitamin-mineral premix (**)

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

Chemical composition

Dry matter#

86.5

86.9

86.9

86.9

Crude protein

19.3

19.3

19.3

19.3

Ether extract

5.26

5.25

5.25

5.25

Ash

8.83

8.81

8.81

8.81

Crude fiber

6.47

6.46

6.46

6.46

NFE

60.1

60.2

60.2

60.2

ME (MJ/kg feed, calculated)

12.77

12.76

12.76

12.76

# In air-dry feed; CD: Control ; BGD: β-glucan; OA: Org anic acids ; PP : probiotic.

Feed intake, growth and feed conversion

DM intake was greater for BGD and PD supplements compared with OAD which did not differ from the control (Table 2). Daily live weight gain was increased 10, 16 and 17% by OAD, BGD and PD, respectively; DM feed conversion showed a similar trend of 10, 12 and 12% improvement over the control (Figures 1 and 2).

Table 2. Mean values for effect of β-glucan, organic acid or probiotic on the performance of recently-weaned pigs

CD

OAD

BGD

PD

SEM

p

Live weight, kg

  Initial

7.78

7.92

7.55

7.70

0.625

0.112

  Final

24.1b

25.8a

26.4a

26.8a

0.512

0.034

Daily LW gain, g

386c

424b

447a

453a

2.92

0.012

DM intake, g/d

745b

740b

758a

769a

6.32

0.015

DM conversion

1.94b

1.75a

1.70a

1.70a

0.025

0.013

a,b,c Means within a row with different superscripts differ at P<0.05



Figure 1. Mean values for live weight gain according to the choice of supplement


Figure 2. Mean values for feed DM conversion according to the choice of supplement

According to Dritz et al (1995) and Hahn et al (2006) supplementing pig diets with 0.01 to 0.04% of β-glucan during 5 weeks post-weaning led to linear increases in nutrient digestibility and increased growth performance. Improvements in growth rate and feed conversion in nursery pigs due to β-glucan supplementation were reported in research from Schoenherr et al (1994). Lowry et al (2005) reported that the addition of β-glucan to the diet increased the operational efficiency of macrophages and heterophils.

Research by Mathew et al (2007) indicated that n that organic acids can provide beneficial effects similar to those of feeding antibiotics. The probable mode of action of organic acids includes reducing the digesta pH value in the gastrointestinal tract, regulating the balance of microbial populations in the gut and stimulating the secretion of digestive enzyme (Thaela et al 1998). Promoting the growth and recovery of the intestinal morphology was claimed by Galfi and Bokori (1990). However, some research publications showed there was no effect of feeding organic acids on growth performance (Sacakli et al 2006) and microbial populations (Risley et al 1992).

Diarrhea incidence, fecal score and E.coli in feces

In general, all the additives had beneficial effects on incidence of diarrhea, fecal score and numbers of E. coli during the 4 weeks post-weaning, with no particular advantage to any one additive (Table 3).

All fecal criteria showed marked improvements in the 5-6 weeks post-weaning period, compared with the 1-4 week period.

Table 3. Effect of dietary supplementation with β-glucan, organic acids and probiotic on diarrhea incidence, fecal score and E.coli in feces

CD

BGD

OAD

PD

SEM

p

Week 1-2 of the experiment

Incidence, %

18.3a

12.6b

9.90c

10.8c

0.314

<0.01

Fecal score

0.201a

0.152b

0.151b

0.166b

0.006

<0.01

E.coli, 105 CFU/g feces

12.10a

11.31b

10.15c

10.40c

0.211

0.032

Week 3-4 of the experiment

Incidence, %

9.85a

6.50c

7.20b

7.15b

0.211

<0.01

Fecal score

0.117a

0.115a

0.081c

0.102b

0.005

<0.01

E.coli , 105 CFU/g feces

10.45a

9.98a

10.01a

8.56b

0.220

0.024

Week 5-6 of the experiment

Incidence, %

4.01

4.02

3.78

4.55

0.200

0.061

Fecal score

0.052

0.045

0.055

0.052

0.006

0.066

E.coli , 105 CFU/g feces

6.45a

4.56b

4.75b

5.01b

0.310

0.035

a,b,c Means within a row with different superscripts are different at P<0.05

Stuyven et al (2009) reported that piglets fed 0.5 g β-glucan /kg diet for two weeks after weaning were less susceptible to infection by E. coli as evidenced by the reduction in fecal excretion of these organisms. They also claimed that β-glucan appeared to prevent the adhesion of E.coli in the small intestine.

Benefits in terms of reduced incidence of diarrhea in recently weaned piglets were reported by Le Thi Men et al (2015) using the same proprietary probiotic culture, as in our experiment.

Several studies have shown favorable effects of organic acid supplements on gut health (Chaveerach et al 2002; Papatsiros et al 2011). These authors indicated that organic acids have antimicrobial effects, which vary from one acid to another, depending on concentration and pH; and that they reduce piglet mortality and control post weaning diarrhea and edema disease in piglets.


Conclusion


Acknowledgements

This research was funded by Viet Nam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (Nafosted) under grant number 106-NN.05-2013.68. Sincere gratitude goes to the pig farm in O Mon district for carrying out the experiment.


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Received 13 May 2017; Accepted 23 May 2017; Published 1 June 2017

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