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Response Of Performance Characteristics And Fecal Consistency To Long-lasting Dietary Supplementation With The Probiotic Strain Bacillus Cereus Var. Toyoi To Sows And Piglets

D. Taras, W. Vahjen, M. Macha, O. Simon
Published 2005 · Biology, Medicine

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Abstract As part of an interdisciplinary research project, we studied the performance response of sows and their litters to the probiotic strain Bacillus cereus var. toyoi as well as feces consistency of piglets. Gestating sows (n = 26) were randomly allotted into two groups. The probiotic B. cereus var. toyoi was administered by dietary supplementation to one group of sows and their respective litters (probiotic group) whereas the second group (control group) received no probiotic supplementation. The duration of the application was nearly 17 weeks for sows (day 90 ante partum until day 28 post partum) and six weeks for piglets (day 15–56). Piglets were weaned after 28 days. Body weight and feed consumption were recorded weekly and fecal consistency of weaned piglets was studied daily. B. cereus var. toyoi was recovered from feces of sows and piglets as well as from digesta of piglets in the probiotic group, while being absent from all samples of control animals. In addition, the probiotic was detected in piglet feces and digesta before pre-starter feed was offered, indicating a second route of uptake besides diet. Sows of the probiotic group nursed numerically more piglets and supported a higher sum of total nursing days of all piglets within each litter than control sows (p = 0.04). In turn, body weight (BW) up to day 35 was greater for control piglets (p < 0.01), while average daily gain and gain to feed ratio (G:F) in weeks six and eight postweaning was higher in the probiotic group (p < 0.05). The overall G:F of the total postweaning period was 680 g/kg and 628 g/kg in the probiotic group and control group, respectively (p = 0.009). During the trial a high prevalence of liquid feces with its maximum in the second week after weaning was observed. Probiotic supplementation led to a reduction in the incidence of liquid feces and postweaning diarrhea by 38% and 59%, respectively (p < 0.001).
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