Supplementation with BioPlus® probiotics has been shown to increase pig performance on lower-energy diets — giving producers the flexibility to reduce feed costs, without reducing performance.
A recent study, conducted at Brazil’s Federal University of Viçosa, was designed to evaluate the impact of a probiotic feed supplement containing Bacillus subtilis and B. licheniformis on nutrient and energy digestibility in grower diets with different energy concentrations. The same microbial strains are used in Chr. Hansen's range of BioPlus® probiotics for swine.
“Our analyses show that adding BioPlus® probiotics to grower diets increased digestibility of all measured nutrients, particularly fat and plant fiber,” said Jens Noesgaard Joergensen, PhD, Chr. Hansen’s global swine product manager. “When animals can obtain more nutrients and energy from their feed, producers can save money by using a reduced-energy diet, while maintaining the performance of their pigs.”
Investigators randomized a total of 36 barrows with an average live weight of 31.2kg ± 4.7 kg to one of four treatment groups. Each group was fed either a high-energy diet or a low-energy diet, with or without BioPlus® probiotics included, at 1.3E+09 CFU/kg feed (Table 1). The high-energy diet contained approximately 100 kcal more than the low-energy diet due to the addition of soybean oil.
The animals were housed individually in metabolism cages, designed to collect urine and feces separately. For the first five days of the study, the animals adapted to their cages and diet, and investigators determined the amount of feed to give each pig as a function of its metabolic weight. Over the next five days, investigators delivered the feed and collected feces and urine samples for analysis.
Fecal samples were analyzed for dry matter, moisture, crude energy, crude protein, ether extract, crude fiber, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF), mineral matter, calcium and phosphorus. Urine samples were analyzed for crude energy and crude protein.
BioPlus® supplementation increased the digestibility of all nutrients investigated in the study, regardless of energy concentration, especially minerals (+7%), crude fat (+7%) and NDF (+5%) (Tables 2a and 2b).
“It’s worth noting that the energy concentration of the feed had no effect on the degree to which BioPlus® boosted digestibility,” Joergensen said. “Thus, producers can reliably count on the impact of probiotic supplementation, no matter what the energy content of their feed.”
The enhanced digestibility of fat and NDF in the probiotic groups increased metabolizable energy by 1.1%, Joergensen noted. Most of this additional energy was due to improved plant fiber digestion, he explained.
“Normally, pigs can’t utilize plant fibers very well, but this study shows that the bacterial strains in BioPlus® products release enzymes that make more plant carbohydrates available to the animal,” he stated.
“For animals, this means increased availability of nutrients. For producers, this means maintaining animal performance with lower-energy diets — which translates to lower feed costs and better returns on investment.”
For more information on Chr. Hansen's probiotic feed supplements for swine, click here.