- Driving piglet performance through improved maternal nutrition is a cost effective way to maximise lifetime performance and health of the growing piglet as birth and weaning weights have a direct correlation to overall performance (Fix et al., 2010).
- This work is part of the Anpario’s 4R approach (Review, Reduce and Replace antimicrobials Responsibly) which helps manage gut health and support healthier livestock through the use of natural products.
- This trial showed that Orego-Stim is able to support sow lactation performance, leading to improved growth and reduced use of antimicrobials and reduced mortality in their progeny.
- Orego-Stim® is a high quality eubioitic, containing 100% natural oregano oil.
- Previous findings have shown that dietary supplementation of oregano essential oil (OEO) in sows can decrease oxidative stress markers at time of farrowing, and improve piglet growth performance (Tan et al., 2015).
- Other work has shown that gestational supplementation with OEO significantly increased numbers of piglets born alive and improved litter birth weights (Ariza-Nieto et al., 2012).
- In this study Orego-Stim was fed to both the sows in the farrowing house and their progeny, through creep supplementation. Performance was compared with a negative control group fed no additives.
Anpario conducted a randomised, blinded, non-crossover trial, with a commercial herd of a high health status, in Portugal. The trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy of Orego-Stim supplemented feed in improving sow and weaned piglet performance. A total of 12 sows were balanced for parity between the two groups a week prior to farrowing and fed either regular lactation feed or Orego-Stim supplemented at 500g/tonne until weaning. At farrowing the total number of piglets born, numbers born alive, and piglet birth weight were recorded for each sow. Sow feed intake and health status were monitored for all sows throughout the trial. From days 7-14, piglets from sows in the Orego-Stim fed group were subsequently fed Orego-Stim in the creep feed at 500g/tonne and piglets of sows fed control diets received the control creep feed without additives. Weaning was carried out at 26 days of age, at which time the number of piglets weaned per litter, litter weaning weight and average piglet weaning weights were recorded for both groups.
- Average number of piglets born alive was conserved across both groups (11.2), however piglets from Orego-Stim fed sows were numerically heavier (1.53kg compared to 1.64kg for Orego-Stim and control litters respectively).
- At weaning further differences are observed between the two groups with Orego-Stim fed piglets averaging 28% heavier at 9.4kg compared to 7.33kg in the control group at ~26 days of age.
- Pre-weaning mortality is also improved with Orego-Stim supplementation with an increased average number of weaned piglets per litter and a 4.4% reduction in pre-weaning mortality compared to the control.
- These differences may be due to improved immunity transfer from sow to piglet via the colostrum as this has previously been reported to be improved in Orego-Stim fed sows (Ariza-Nieto et al., 2012).
Eubiotics, such as Orego-Stim, provide a natural tool for the improvement of sow and progeny health and performance. Improving weaning performance and health has significant effects on lifetime performance and future medication use.