Effects of feeding antibiotic-free creep feed supplemented with oligofructose, probiotics or synbiotics to suckling piglets increases the preweaning weight gain and composition of intestinal microbiota

S.B. Shim, M.W.A. Verstegen, I.H. Kim, O.S. Kwon, J.M.A.J. Verdonk

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85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine whether feeding an antibiotic-free creep feed supplemented with either oligofructose, probiotics or synbiotics to suckling piglets influences growth performance, the gut microflora, gut morphology and hematological traits at weaning. Twenty sows with 10 piglets each were randomly assigned to one of four treatments. The treatments consisted of a control (antibiotic-free) diet, 0.2% oligofructose (OF), 0.3% probiotics or 0.5% synbiotics (mixture of 0.2% OF + 0.3% probiotics). Piglets were offered the diet ad libitum from 7 d after birth until one day after weaning (21 d of age). At the day after weaning, blood samples were collected from the jugular vein to determine the immune response. Digesta samples of the ileum and colon were collected to determine the microbial composition. Tissue segments from the duodenum and ileum were collected for morphometric measurements of the small intestine. The average daily weight gain was significantly higher for piglets fed the OF or synbiotics diet compared with the pigs fed the control diet. The hematological traits (the concentration of lymphocytes and neutrophils in whole blood) were not affected by the diet. Piglets fed the OF, probiotics or synbiotics diet had a significantly decreased number of total coliform bacteria in the colon. Feeding OF, probiotics or synbiotics significantly increased the population of bifidobacteria in the ileum compared to the control. In the colon, the probiotics and synbiotics diet significantly increased the number of bifidobacteria compared with the control diet. The results of this experiment showed that supplementation of oligofructose or synbiotics to an antibiotic-free creep feed during the preweaning period affected gut microbial population and performance of piglets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-427
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Animal Nutrition
Volume59
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • weanling pigs
  • growing pigs
  • cell-proliferation
  • dietary fiber
  • performance
  • fructooligosaccharides
  • oligosaccharides
  • fermentation
  • populations
  • consumption

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