Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Comparison of specific fatty acids as alternative for anti microbial growth promoters in piglet diets

In a large-scale experiment the influence of an anti microbial growth promoter (AGP), medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) and fishoil were included in diets for weaned piglets and compared to a negative control treatment without anti microbials.

The inclusion of avilamycine (40 ppm) as growth promoter significantly improved daily gain (14%) and feed conversion ratio (5%) in comparison to the negative control treatment (Table 4). This result showed the efficacy of the antimicrobial growth promoter, even under relatively good sanitary housing conditions.

The growth performance data for piglets fed the MCFA diets also were significantly improved compared to the control treatment, 19% for daily gain and 6% for feed conversion ratio. The results with MCFA were not significantly different from the treatment with the antimicrobial growth promoter suggesting that MCFA is a promising feed ingredient to be used as alternative for AGP. This is most likely due to the antimicrobial properties of MCFA.

In an additional treatment, the effect of fish oil was tested in a diet without AGP. Fish oil was expected to have beneficial effects because of its high content of n-3 fatty acids, which may influence the immune system. In this experiment, however, the inclusion of fish oil did not significantly improve growth performance of the newly weaned piglets. This result does not exclude a beneficial effect of fish oil on the immuno competence of the piglet, but such an effect was not detectable in this experimental design.

Inclusion of medium chain fatty acids in the diet, improved growth performances to the same extend as the AGP avilamycine. Consequently, the use of medium chain fatty acids as a potential alternative for AGP rewards further elucidation.

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