May 20, 2020


No need for antibiotics with pig probiotics to promote growth - study



Research from the University of Illinois showed that a probiotic product — Clostridium butyricum — can achieve the same growth-promoting results as antibiotics, ACES (College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) News reports.


"Not being able to use antibiotics, these probiotics or direct-fed-microbials (DFMs) are being used more and more. We have worked with DFMs for the last 10 years and have consistently observed increased growth performance in pigs," said Hans H. Stein, co-author of the study and professor at the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I ACES.


Stein and his co-authors fed five diets to pigs: a control diet with no antibiotics and no Clostridium butyricum; a control diet with standard antibiotics added; and experimental diets with 1,250, 2,500, or 3,500 cfu per kilogramme of Clostridium butyricum added.


"Pigs had better growth performance when we added Clostridium butyricum to the diets compared with the control diet with no antibiotic. And growth performance was the same for the experimental diets as the antibiotic control diet. These results indicate Clostridium butyricum may be used to partly or fully restore the growth performance lost when antibiotic growth promoters are removed from diets for weanling pigs," Stein said, as per report.


Stein said that there was also better morphology in the pigs' intestinal tracts with the Clostridium butyricum. "Villi, the tiny 'fingers' lining the intestinal wall, were a little bit taller. The taller the villi, the more nutrients they can absorb. And that can mean better growth performance".


The research team also noted a drop-off in benefits as the inclusion rate of Clostridium butyricum went up, concluding that a dose of 1,250 cfu per kilogram is sufficient to attain increased growth performance in weanling pigs.


Stein said that direct-fed-microbials including Clostridium butyricum seemed to have consistent positive effects in diets for young pigs.' I think there's a good reason they're being used more and more in the industry. It's a good return on investment if you add them to the diet".