The efficacy of a commercial source of mannan-oligosacharides (BM), organic zinc (BP), or their combination to enhance performance, gastrointestinal health, and immune response in weaned pigs was evaluated. A total of 128 piglets, weaned at 20 ± 2 d, were housed in 32 pens. Animals received 1 of 4 dietary treatments: a control diet (CT) to which 0.2% of BM, 80 mg/kg of Zn as BP, or both additives (BMP) were added. The experiment lasted for 5 wk including a prestarter period of 2 wk and a starter period of 3 wk. Body weight was recorded and daily feed intake was calculated. Fecal consistency was monitored for the first 21 d. After 2 wk, 32 animals were killed, digesta samples from the stomach, ileum, and cecum were collected, and pH and the short-chain fatty acid profile were determined. Microbiological counts for enterobacteria and lactobacilli were evaluated using quantitative PCR. Histological parameters in the jejunum and immunoglobulin concentrations in serum and ileal digesta were also measured. Both additives improved G:F during the starter period (0.63, 0.69, 0.67, and 0.68 for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively; P < 0.04). Mean fecal score values for the first 21 d were improved by BM and BP, showing decreased values compared with the CT diet (1.22, 0.89, 0.87, and 1.06 for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively; P = 0.002). The addition of BM decreased enterobacteria counts in the jejunum (9.13, 8.05, 8.87, and 7.89 log 16S rRNA gene copies/g of matter for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively; P = 0.05). Empty ileal weight, defined as the segment including the continuous Peyer's patch, tended (P = 0.08) to increase with BP treatment (8.9, 9.6, 11.9, and 10.3 g/kg of BW for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively). Crypt depths in the jejunum were lower in animals fed the combination of the additives (BPM) compared with those fed the control diet (281 vs. 235; P < 0.03). No significant differences were registered in pH, short-chain fatty acids, or serum and ileal immunoglobulin concentrations. The results suggest that the use of BM or BP can improve the efficiency of gain during the starter period. © 2008 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.
|Journal||Journal of Animal Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|
- Growth performance
- Organic zinc
- Postweaning diarrhea