Investigating Probiotic Supplementation in Swine Production

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29 Apr 2024

Investigating Probiotic Supplementation in Swine Production

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In the realm of swine production, the quest for alternative strategies to enhance performance and maintain intestinal health without relying heavily on antibiotics has led to increased interest in probiotic supplementation. Among the various probiotic strains, Bacillus subtilis C-3102 has garnered attention for its potential benefits in swine diets. This study aimed to delve into the effects of B. subtilis C-3102 supplementation, focusing on its impact on sows during gestation and lactation, as well as on their progeny post-weaning. Specifically, the investigation aimed to assess performance metrics, fecal consistency, and fecal microbial populations in response to dietary supplementation.

Experimental Design: Sow Portion

The experimental design comprised two main phases: the sow portion and the nursery portion. In the sow portion, 29 sows and their litters were involved from day 30 of gestation until weaning. Sow diets were either control or probiotic, with B. subtilis C-3102 incorporated at specific concentrations during gestation and lactation. This phase aimed to elucidate the direct effects of probiotic supplementation on maternal performance and its potential carryover effects to the offspring.

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Experimental Design: Nursery Portion

In the subsequent nursery phase, 358 weaned pigs, offspring of the sows in the study, were monitored over a 42-day period. Nursery diets also included control or probiotic supplementation. This phase aimed to assess the impact of maternal probiotic supplementation on the growth performance and fecal characteristics of the offspring post-weaning.

The results of the study revealed several key findings. During lactation, sows fed the probiotic diet exhibited a trend towards increased feed intake, albeit without significant improvements in overall performance. Similarly, in the nursery phase, there were no significant differences in growth performance between pigs from control and probiotic-fed sows. However, pigs born from control-fed sows demonstrated superior growth metrics in late nursery compared to those born from probiotic-fed sows. Fecal consistency evaluation showed no significant differences between groups.

Microbial Analysis and Conclusion

Fecal microbial analysis indicated a modest alteration in fecal microbial populations, with an increase in the number of total Bacillus sp. observed in probiotic-fed sows and nursery pigs. Notably, nursing piglets born from probiotic-fed sows displayed a continuation of this modification in fecal microbial population preweaning, suggesting a maternal-progeny intestinal microbiota relationship.

In conclusion, while Bacillus subtilis C-3102 supplementation did not result in significant improvements in performance or fecal consistency, it did positively influence lactation feed intake in sows. Moreover, the study shed light on the existence of a maternal-progeny intestinal microbiota relationship, highlighting the potential complexities in the effects of probiotic supplementation in swine production systems. Further research is warranted to explore these findings and their implications for swine production practices.

Source: “Menegat MB, DeRouchey JM, Woodworth JC, Dritz SS, Tokach MD, Goodband RD. Effects of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 on sow and progeny performance, fecal consistency, and fecal microbes during gestation, lactation, and nursery periods1,2. J Anim Sci. 2019 Sep 3;97(9):3920-3937. doi: 10.1093/jas/skz236. PMID: 31292631; PMCID: PMC6735905.”

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