Feeding healthy pigs with less antibiotics - three-step nutrition

Feeding healthy animals with less antibiotics is a challenge for the future development of the European livestock industry. Consumers, retailers and administrative authorities are clearly issuing this information. In some countries, relevant measures have been implemented; in other countries, this discussion has just begun. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

The overall picture clearly shows that in Europe, sustainable animal husbandry and controlled use of small amounts of antibiotics will be a requirement in the future. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

What measures can be taken to achieve this goal? Obviously, it will not simply replace antibiotics with a single substitute. To achieve this goal, farmers have to adopt a multi-factor approach such as farm management, climate and sanitation. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Nutrition is an important part of this approach. From a nutritional point of view, there are several steps that can be taken to improve the health of the animal. In order to achieve this, three important steps will be highlighted. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

1 Reduce the amount of protein that can not be digested in the diet N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, service animal husbandry

Proteins are usually digested in the small intestine and provide amino acids to animals. Amino acids are a component of protein deposition (growth) and are important for many functions of the body. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Unfortunately, the protein we supply through the diet is not 100% digestible. If the protein is not digested in the small intestine, it enters the large intestine and becomes the substrate for the development of pathogens such as E. coli. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Too much undigested protein can unbalance the intestinal flora and can lead to disturbances in digestive function, such as diarrhea. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

On the one hand, we need to supply a large amount of protein to animals to get the best performance; on the other hand, we need to provide a small amount of protein to reduce the risk of digestive disorders. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

This seems to be a paradox, but with the right approach, nutritionists can control this very well. The key to dealing with this problem is to know the exact animal's need for each essential amino acid, the so-called ideal amino acid model. This model differs between species (both and poultry) and varies at different stages of growth (piglets are different from fattening pigs). In the past few years, many new research results have been published each year, which reveals this ideal amino acid model of animals. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Once we know the animal's need for each amino acid, we can provide a diet that satisfies this ideal amino acid model as closely as possible. The amino acids in the diet are supplied to the animal via protein feed and feed grade amino acids. Today, we can easily obtain the top 5 feed grade limiting amino acids (lysine, threonine, methionine, tryptophan and valine). These feed grade amino acids are 100% digestible so they do not produce undigested proteins. The latter limited amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, histidine, etc.) should be supplemented by protein-rich feeds. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

The best feed ingredients selected should have a high digestibility. It is important to develop a diet that meets each of the amino acid requirements and is not higher than the animal's needs, so there is no shortage or excess. Using existing knowledge of all these amino acid requirements, we can develop a diet with low levels of crude protein (lower levels of protein that cannot be digested) and that will allow animals to maintain the same or even better performance. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

2 Optimize the intestinal flora N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, service animal husbandry

The animal gut flora is made up of billions of bacteria that maintain a close relationship with the host animal. There are generally three different types of host-microflora relationships, namely symbiotic, commensal or pathogenic. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

To achieve optimal bacterial composition, our goal is to reduce the number of intestinal pathogens and increase the number of beneficial bacteria (symbiotic). As mentioned earlier, the first step in getting gut health is to reduce the amount of undigested protein as much as possible. Dietary protein cannot reach 100% digestibility, so there will always be some undigested protein reaching the large intestine. The matrix of pathogenic bacteria. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Therefore, in the next step we must take measures to control the number of pathogenic bacteria. Antibiotics can still play an important role in this regard. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Because any of the different types of alternative products can play a role. Organic acids or essential oils (plant extracts) are used for their antibacterial activity and are used again to reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria. This may be part of the method, but focusing on reducing the number of intestinal pathogens may not be the whole task. A more natural strategy is to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria (symbiotic). N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid, which lowers the pH in the intestines and affects pathogens. Therefore, by stimulating the growth of lactic acid bacteria, the number of pathogenic bacteria will be reduced. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

This mechanism is also known as competitive exclusion. Stimulation of beneficial bacteria can be accomplished by probiotics such as Bacillus subtilis. These thermostable spore-forming living microorganisms produce certain enzymes and consume oxygen, both of which create the best environment for the growth of lactic acid bacteria. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

By feeding the animals with Bacillus subtilis, the growth of intestinal lactic acid bacteria is promoted, and the number of pathogenic bacteria is reduced. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

This principle has been demonstrated in an experiment in which E. coli was used to challenge piglets 1 week after weaning. The first group of piglets (control group) were fed a basal diet without the addition of antibiotics. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

The second group of piglets were fed a diet containing antibiotics. The third group of piglets were fed a diet containing probiotics, Spirulina (Bacillus subtilis). Piglet feces were used to analyze the number of bacteria in E. coli and lactic acid. The results show that the addition of antibiotics can reduce E. coli quantitatively, while also reducing the number of lactic acid bacteria. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Piglets added to the succulent group also showed a decrease in the number of E. coli, but the number of lactic acid bacteria remained at a higher level (significantly higher than antibiotics). Both the antibiotic-added group and the succulent group showed that their piglets showed good fecal scores and lower mortality. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

The end result shows that the effects of adding antibiotics and probiotics are the same in terms of piglet health (diarrhoea, mortality), but the way to achieve this result is significantly different. Antibiotics clean the intestine by reducing the number of beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Probiotics stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria while helping to inhibit the proliferation of harmful bacteria. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

This gut flora was established during the initial stages of animal life. In the first stage after birth, this gut flora grew and was quite unstable. This unstable intestinal flora of pigs takes about 2-3 weeks after weaning. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Probiotics stimulate the development of beneficial lactic acid bacteria and help to effectively establish a stable intestinal flora. After antibiotic treatment (sometimes inevitable), probiotics help re-establish a new gut flora. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

3 Supporting immunity N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - Based on feed, serving animal husbandry

In the third step, the animal's own immunity can be obtained to support the animal with the best immune response will be better protected from pathogenic bacteria. The role of pathogens in the gut may not be sufficient. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Some pathogens (such as E. coli) mainly move in the intestinal tract and other pathogens can enter the body through other means. Streptococcus is a part of the pig that enters the piglet through the intestines, and the other part can also enter the body through the contact of the nose and nose. Therefore, it is only committed to intestinal health and combating intestinal pathogens, and the streptococcus is not always successfully eliminated. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

-1-1,3/1,6-glucan is a component of the yeast cell wall and is known to optimize animal immune response. In vitro tests have shown that it is extremely important that the type and structure of beta-1,3/1,6-glucan is correct. Ordinary yeast, yeast culture or intact yeast cell wall, these products do not have the function of stimulating an immune response. The MacroGard product produced by Biorigin of Brazil is the most studied β-1,3/1,6-glucan product. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

This product has been extensively studied and has proven to be very effective in in vitro and pig body tests. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

A recent trial has shown that piglets can be protected from E. coli after feeding the MacroGard product. Piglets that ingest this product through diet have a higher local immune response in the intestine. This higher immune response protects piglets. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

E. coli was not infected with the test piglets, no E. coli was found in the piglet feces, and no diarrhea occurred in the piglets. The local immune response of the piglets in the control group was low, and piglets were infected with E. coli, resulting in diarrhea (Stuyven, 2009). N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

4 Conclusion N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

In summary, we can say that nutrition is an important part of the overall plan to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

Using only a single feed additive to replace antibiotics is likely to be unsuccessful. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

A comprehensive nutritional approach has a good success rate. First, the amount of undigested protein in the gut can be significantly reduced by studying the animal's ideal amino acid model and formulating the diet with feed-grade amino acids and highly digestible protein sources. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

In the second step, the intestinal microflora can be optimized by stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria and using thermostable sporulation probiotics. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

In the final step, the animal's immune response capacity can be optimized with β-1,3/1,6-glucan. By adopting a holistic conceptual approach, nutritionists have the tools to make sustainable production. N3r China Feed Industry Information Network - based on feed, serving animal husbandry

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