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Achieving optimal gut health and performance in piglets

The post-weaning period is the most crucial period for young piglets as these animals are experiencing several different stressors, such as a change in their environment, a change in feed, as well as mixing with unknown pigs. This typically presents as post-weaning diarrhoea, which results in reduced growth performance and an increased need for antibiotic treatment. Whether a producer is attempting to move away from the intense reliance on antibiotics in the weaner phase or looking for a combination of gut health additives to improve production over and above what is currently being achieved, Evonik has the perfect combination solution.

Pathogen inhibition by Ecobiol
Ecobiol (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens CECT 5940) has a number of unique modes of action such as immunomodulation, the production of lactic acid to encourage the proliferation of beneficial bacteria, as well as quorum quenching. Quorum quenching is the ability of certain beneficial bacteria to inhibit the communication between pathogenic bacteria. Ecobiol has the proven ability to reduce the levels of pathogenic bacteria in the gut, such as E. coli and Salmonella, which cause significant digestive disturbances and even disease.

Improved gut structure and function with ProPhorce™ SR 130
Butyric acid encourages the growth and differentiation of epithelial cells as well as acting as a cell mediator, regulating gene expression, immune modulation, and oxidative stress. The low pH of butyric acid also reduces the pH in the gut, preventing the colonization of pathogenic bacteria and as a result, can modulate intestinal bacteria (Bedford & Gong, 2018). ProPhorce™ SR 130 is a tributyrin, which is the most efficient source of butyrate ester as it contains 3 x the amount of butyric acid molecules. In addition, tributyrin achieves superior gastric bypass compared to coated butyrate salts, enabling it to deliver the butyric acid molecules to the intestine, where they are needed.

The combination approach: Ecobiol + ProPhorce™ SR 130
The modulation of the delicate gut balance in weaner pigs requires a multifaceted approach and it is well understood that there is not one ‘silver bullet’. However, the combination of probiotics and organic acids is one of the most powerful combinations to improve the gut health of weaner pigs on a number of levels- by reducing pathogens present in the gut and by improving the gut structure and function.

A commercial trial was conducted whereby the combination of Ecobiol + ProPhorce™ SR 130 was tested. Pigs were supplemented with 500g/ ton Ecobiol and/or 1kg/ton of ProPhorce™ SR 130 from 8 to 14 weeks of age. A snapshot of the results is shown in the below figure. The pigs receiving the combination approach had improved final weight and feed conversion ratio (FCR) resulting in a return of investment (ROI) of 2.21:1.

Evonik - SAPPO News June 2022

To discover how you can successfully implement Evonik’s range of gut health mediators in your weaner diets and for further trial results, please contact Natasha Davison.

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