A dual-strain probiotic feed supplement can help pig producers reduce feed costs, without compromising performance.
A recent wean-to-finish study, published in Animal Feed Science and Technology, was designed to determine the impact of BioPlus® YC — a probiotic feed supplement for swine containing unique strains of Bacillus subtilis and B. licheniformis — on growth performance and digestibility in pigs fed different dietary energy concentrations.
Overall, BioPlus® YC supplementation significantly improved growth and feed conversion from wean to slaughter, while boosting total tract digestibility of fat and crude protein in the grower period.
“Feed is the greatest single, variable cost in swine production, with energy being one of the costliest components,” says Jens Joergensen, global product manager and one of the study’s authors.
“In this study, probiotic supplementation was found to improve growth performance and digestibility of key nutrients, with these effects being most pronounced in pigs fed lower-energy diets. By giving pigs access to more nutrients and energy from their feed, BioPlus® YC gives producers the flexibility to maintain performance while reducing dietary energy levels by as much as 3%.”
The study was conducted in 576 weaned piglets that were randomly allocated to one of four different test groups: two groups were fed a standard diet and two groups were fed an energy-reduced diet, either with or without probiotic supplementation at recommended doses (Table 1).
Growth performance and digestibility of various nutrients were analyzed during four periods: pre-starter (28-42 days), starter (42-70 days), grower (70-120 days) and finisher (120-182 days).
Improved performance, digestibility
Results show that probiotic supplementation significantly increased body weight (BW) of pigs at the end of trial. Across all four groups, BioPlus® YC improved average daily gain (ADG) by 3.2% and feed conversion ratio (FCR) by 1.9% over the whole study period.
Overall, pigs fed the standard diets exhibited 2.8% improved FCR compared to pigs fed the energy-reduced diets. No interactions between dietary energy level and probiotic supplementation were observed, so the significant performance improvements observed with probiotic supplementation were independent of dietary nutritional levels.
In the energy-reduced diet groups, probiotic supplementation was associated with higher BW at the end of the study as well as significant improvements in ADG and FCR. Moreover, there were no statistical differences in the final BW, growth and FCR of pigs fed the non-supplemented standard diet and the energy-reduced diet + BioPlus®, indicating that BioPlus® YCmay compensate for a reduction in dietary energy of up to 3%.
According to Joergensen, BioPlus® YC enhances growth performance by improving intestinal integrity and function, while increasing the availability and uptake of essential nutrients. Consistent with previous findings, analyses performed in this study confirmed that probiotic supplementation also improved digestibility of fat and crude protein — typically some of the costliest components in swine feed.
For more information on Chr. Hansen’s range of probiotic feed supplements for swine, click here.