- This trial showed that Orego-Stim® is able to support sow lactation performance and piglet weaning weights on a commercial farm in the absence of zinc oxide.
- No impact of removing therapeutic zinc levels from piglet diets was seen in growth, medication use or mortality.
- The suckling period is a critical time in the piglet’s life for the acquisition of a healthy gut microbiota, necessary for the development of digestive function, gut barrier protection and immune development.
- This work is part of the Anpario’s 4R’s approach (Review, Reduce and Replace antimicrobials Responsibly) which helps manage gut health and support healthier livestock through the use of natural products.
- This work is part of the Anpario’s 4R’s approach (Review, Reduce and Replace antimicrobials Orego-Stim® is a high quality, eubiotic containing 100% natural oregano oil.
- Zinc is routinely used at high levels to control post-weaning scours but has been linked to environmental pollution and antibiotic resistance in some bacteria, such as MRSA. (Yazdankhah et al., 2014).
- The European commission has banned the use of pharmacological levels of zinc (>150ppm) in piglet diets from June 2022.
Anpario conducted a randomised blinded trial managed by a feed integrator on an Irish commercial herd. Eighty multiparous sows across two batches were randomly allocated to either the control group or Orego-Stim® (OS) supplemented group, with OS top dressed to diets daily at an equivalent rate of 1kg/t, from 3 days prior to farrowing until weaning. All piglets were weighed at birth and any cross-fostering was carried out within treatment groups to fill to teat number within 48 hrs. Piglets were provided creep feed from day 10 and weaned ~27 days, diets either included zinc oxide (Control) at 3.1 kg/t, or OS at 1 kg/t. See Annex 1 for trial design.
- Piglets from the OS group performed similarly to those from the control group with average piglet weaning weights of ~7kg per piglet (Fig. 1), the numerical benefit seen with OS remained at the end of the nursery period with OS fed piglets being numerically heavier (~0.5kg) than the control group.
- Pre-weaning mortality was the same for both groups (9%) but interestingly piglets from OS litters had a reduced incidence of starvation or scour (Fig. 2).
- Sows receiving OS maintained a similar body condition score (BCS) to the control sows but lost ~10kg less body weight over the lactation period.
- Medication use was not significantly affected by the removal of therapeutic zinc in piglets and post weaning mortality was also consistent between groups.
- Orego-Stim® has been shown to support sow and piglet performance in the absence of zinc oxide.
Annex 1 - Trial Design