Swine

The Effect of Feeding Outpace® Feed Additive on Pig Gut Health and Performance of Nursery Pigs Raised Without Antibiotics

Young Animal : Nutrition

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Purina Animal Nutrition

Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), acidifiers, prebiotics, probiotics and botanicals are commonly used as feed additives for pigs to support pig gut health, the immune system and performance.
 
Purina Animal Nutrition research supports the effectiveness of Outpace® Feed Additive, a blend of MCFA with other functional components, in improving performance of nursery pigs. Researchers conducted two experiments to evaluate the effects of feeding Outpace® Feed Additive on the performance of nursery pigs raised with or without antibiotics.

Materials and methods of Outpace® Swine Feed Additive Trial 

Experiment 1

Experiment 1 (Exp. 1) evaluated the effect of feeding Outpace® Feed Additive at three levels (0, 2.5 and 5 pounds/ton) within the complete feed when pigs were fed nursery diets containing antibiotics. The study involved 660 pigs, which were fed one of three dietary treatments.
 
The diets were similar in nutrient composition and functional components, except:
  • Treatment 1 (Trt. 1) was a control diet without Outpace®
  • Trt. 2 was similar to Trt. 1, except Outpace® was added at 2.5 pounds/ton of complete feed
  • Trt. 3 was similar to treatment 1, except Outpace® was added at 5 pounds/ton of complete feed.
 
The antibiotics for the three treatment groups were:
  • A combination of Denagard® (Novartis Animal Health, Greensboro, NC) at 35g/ton and chlortetracycline at 400g/ton (Denagard®/CTC) in phases 1 and 2
  • 50g/ton Mecadox® (Carbadox, Phibro Animal Health Corporation, Teaneck, NJ) in phase 3
  • CTC at 500g/ton in phase 4  

Experiment 2

Experiment 2 (Exp. 2) compared the performance of pigs fed diets containing antibiotics in combination with Outpace® Feed Additive at 2.5 pounds per ton versus the performance of nursery pigs raised without antibiotics in combination with 5 pounds per ton of Outpace®.
 
In this study 442 pigs were fed one of two dietary treatments:
  • Trt. 1 was a four-phase feeding program with 2.5 pounds/ton of Outpace® and antibiotics in phases 1, 2 and 4 (based on the best-performing treatment from Exp. 1).
    • The antibiotic protocol in Trt. 1 was:
      • Denagard® (Novartis Animal Health, Greensboro, NC) at 200g/ton in phase 1
      • A combination of Denagard® at 35g/ton and chlortetracycline at 400g/ton (Denagard®/CTC) in phase 2
      • No medication in phase 3
      • Repeated Denagard®/CTC combination in phase 4.
  • Trt. 2 was similar to Trt. 1, except Outpace® was added at a rate of 5 pounds/ton without antibiotics.
Both feeding programs were similar in nutrient composition and included functional components currently used in the Purina Animal Nutrition lactose-free nursery pig feed program.
 
The two diets were designed to be fed in four phases during a 43-day period following a feeding budget of 10 pounds of feed/pig in phase 1 and phase 2 and 20 pounds of feed/pig in phases 3 and 4, respectively. However, not all the feed was consumed by day 43. Therefore, pigs were fed until day 50.

Results and discussion of Outpace® Swine Feed Additive Trial

Experiment 1

In Exp. 1, the best performance and economic return was in pigs fed diets containing 2.5 pounds/ton of Outpace® Feed Additive with antibiotics.
 
These pigs were:
  • 1.98 pounds heavier (p=0.09) when compared to pigs raised with antibiotics and  
  • 0.98 pounds heavier (p=0.09) when compared to pigs fed diets containing antibiotics and Outpace® at 5 pounds/ton of complete feed.
Additionally, this group of pigs used 0.08 pound less feed (p<0.01) per each pound of body weight gained when compared to the control pigs (7.8 point). 
 
These results indicated the most efficient level of Outpace® was 2.5 pounds/ton of feed in combination with antibiotics to improve pig performance.
 
The next step to identify an effective alternative feeding program was to compare the nursery performance of pigs fed a feeding program with antibiotics and 2.5 pounds of Outpace®/ton of complete feed across all nursery diets versus an alternative feeding program for pigs raised without antibiotics (using Outpace® at 5 pounds/ton of feed). This was the approach used in Exp. 2.

Experiment 2

There was no significant difference in pig performance between pigs fed Outpace® Feed Additive at 5 pounds/ton in non-medicated diets compared to those fed a program with antibiotics and 2.5 pounds of Outpace® (Tables 5 and 6). However, these results indicated a strong numerical trend (p = 0.06) for improved feed:gain between days 0 to 43 when pigs were fed AB in combination with 2.5 pounds/ton of Outpace®.
 

Conclusions   

The results indicated adding Outpace® Feed Additive at a rate of 2.5 pounds/ton of complete feed improved performance of nursery pigs fed diets containing antibiotics. The results also indicated pigs fed diets containing 5 pounds/ton of Outpace® and no antibiotics had similar gains and feed conversion to those fed diets containing antibiotics and 2.5 pounds/ton of Outpace® during days 0 to 50 post-weaning.
 
The data supports the use of Outpace® Feed Additive as an efficient tool to improve nursery pig performance when pigs are fed diets with or without antibiotics. Outpace® includes a proprietary blend of including medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), acidifiers, prebiotics, probiotics and botanicals to support the gut health, the immune system and subsequently, performance.
 
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By: Dan McManus, DVM, Young Animal Swine, Technical Sales Specialist; Mariela Lachmann, Ph.D., Senior Nutritionist, Swine Technical Solutions; Terry Weeden, Ph.D., Swine Nutritionist; Brenda de Rodas, Ph.D., R&D Director, Research and Product Development; Stacie Crowder, M.S., Senior Manager, Swine Technical Solutions; Suzanne Petersen, Ph.D., Business Dev. Manager, PMI Nutritional Additives