This format was repeated with weaning batches 3 and 4 at a later time block, with the exception that room 1 was then designated as treatment and room 2 as control. The winter set of experiments employing another pair of experimental groups, had exactly the same design as the first set. Thus, at the end of the trial, a total of 908 weaned pigs were used, derived from 2 sets of experiments (summer and winter) x 2 experimental groups (rooms) x 24 replicates (pens) of weaned piglets. Daily observations of the pigs were made for clinical signs throughout the trial period, and their production parameters (final bodyweight, average daily gain and feed conversion ratio) were recorded (Kritas et al. 2010).
Results and discussion
Although occasional animals needed veterinary intervention, in four of the trials, the numbers of animals treated were small and weren’t test group related. Exception was trial 1 in which more general occurrence
of meningitis and respiratory disease mid-way through the study required all animals to be treated with antibiotics via drinking water. This trial was not considered further. In the remaining four studies, the incidence of diarrhoea was low and the percentage mortality fell well within the range considered normal for the experimental facilities. No significant differences were found in any measured parameter in trial 2 (Table 2). In contrast, the remaining three (trials 3, 4 and 5) showed highly significant increases in final body weight and average daily gain compared to control animals and an improvement in feed to gain ratio in the treated group. There was a numerical reduction in feed intake in the treated group compared to controls. Although this did not reach significance it was probably a contributory factor in the improved feed to gain ratio. The supplementation of B. subtilis C-3102 under practical conditions produced consistent improvements of zootechnical parameters over the tested 8 weanings involving more than 900 piglets, under both summer and winter production conditions (summarized results in table 3). Feed and faecal sampling confirmed the presence of B. subtilis C-3102 in treatment feed and faeces at expected concentrations, and the absence of cross contamination to control group. There was no significant difference in mortality or feed intake between the groups. Although these studies were carried out under commercial farm conditions, cross contamination of B. subtilis C-3102 between control and treatment piglets was avoided by careful separation of the treatments and the cross over, blocked study design ensured the validity of the data and the best homogeneity of the groups.
The use of Bacillus subtilis C-3102 has shown positive effects in reducing pathogenic pressure in the gut in different studies. Probiotics in this form can survive heat stress during pelleting and expansions processes and are compatible with feed agents like organic acids and therapeutic antibiotics, which are widely used in piglet diets. In numerous efficacy trials within the EU registration the addition of viable spores of B. subtilis C-3102 to piglet diets resulted positive on production parameters like growth and feed conversion ratio. The supplementation of B. subtilis C-3102 under practical conditions (8 weanings involving around 900 piglets) performed in consistent improvements of zoo technical parameters, under both summer and winter production conditions. The results of these studies illustrate the contribution of a stable, in-feed probiotic to efficient pig production without antibiotic growth promoters.
Feed Compounder February 2012
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