- Driving piglet performance through improved maternal gut health is a cost-effective way to maximise lifetime performance and health of growing piglets as those lost prior to weaning represent an economic loss as well as a welfare target.
This work is part of the Anpario’s 4R approach (Review, Reduce and Replace antimicrobials Responsibly) which helps manage gut health and support healthier livestock through the use of natural products.
This trial showed that supplementing sow diets with Orego-Stim® improved milk and colostrum quality and led to more piglets weaned per sow and a return on investment (ROI) of 8:1.
- Immunoglobulins are specialised antibodies which are passed from the sow to her piglets through her milk. Two of the most important ones are Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin A (IgA), these are fundamental for piglet gut health and immunity.
Passive immune transfer through colostrum is vital for piglet survival as they do not receive immunoglobulins through the placenta during gestation. Without effective provision and uptake of IgG and IgA from colostrum and milk piglets cannot defend themselves from common bacterial or viral pathogens pre and post weaning.
Orego-Stim® is a high quality phytogenic eubiotic containing 100% natural oregano essential oil, which has well-documented antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties.
Anpario conducted a randomized, blinded non-crossover trial with a commercial herd in Midwest, USA managed by Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions (CISS, IL. USA). A total of 200 sows were balanced for parity between the two treatment groups at service and fed either the basal gestation and lactation ration or the same gestation and lactation ration supplemented with Orego-Stim at 500g/tonne until weaning. Colostrum samples were collected from 30 sows per treatment group (10ml per sow), samples were frozen for later analysis. Milk samples were collected on day 10 of lactation from the same 30 sows as previous and all samples were submitted for proximate and antibody analysis.
- Whilst IgG and IgA levels in colostrum samples did not differ significantly between the two dietary groups, the IgA content of colostrum from Orego-Stim® supplemented sows was 26% greater than the control group (Figure 1).
Both IgG and IgA levels were significantly greater in milk samples from Orego-Stim® supplemented sows compared to samples from the control group (Figure 2).
Piglets from Orego-Stim® supplemented sows demonstrated reduced pre-weaning mortality which may be as a result of improved maternal immunoglobulin transfer.