Project Details


Sow litter size has been increased substantially during the last couple of decades and more piglets are born under weighted. These underweighted born piglets are less vital at birth, less robust at weaning and prone to infectious diseases. Post weaning diarrhea (PWD) is one of the major concerns related to the health of weaned piglets caused mainly by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), members of the genera clostridium, and rotaviruses. The frequency of PWD has increased after the ban on antibiotic use as growth promoters in animal feed by European Union (EU) in 2006. Zinc-oxide has been successfully used to control ETEC outbreaks in weaned piglets, however also the use of this compound will be banned by EU legislation starting from 2022. Thus, with the increasing incidence of PWD and resistance to antibiotics by enterotoxigenic bacterial strains, it is very urgent to develop other alternatives feeding strategies to prevent infections on farms. Feeding sows and piglet with alternative additives to improve sow colostrum, piglet immunity and subsequently reduce PWD is becoming an innovative practice in modern pig production. In addition, our recent research showed that feeding sow with yeast derivatives (YD) help piglets to colonize with better gut microbiota thereby improving survivability and body weight gain at weaning. In recent research, we have reported that, addition of resin acid-enriched composition (RAC) to the late gestation diet of sows
increases their colostrum yield and immunoglobulins content. This can modulate the gut microbiota which can improve sow physiology and enhance piglet immunity. Like other feeding strategy, supplementation of dietary fiber (DF) is one of the feeding regime used in different stages of pig production. DF plays a crucial role in maintaining diversified gut microbiota and gut health of human and animal. Adding high-fiber diet can surge the activity of fiber-degrading
related bacteria in the large intestine of growing pigs. High volume of cellulolytic bacteria favor the establishment and development of some beneficial bacteria, meanwhile, decline the harmful ones, which is advantageous to gut health and acts as a prebiotic effect. In addition, cellulolytic bacteria produce short chain fatty acid (acetate, propionate and N-butyrate named SCFA) and gases (carbon
dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane) by fermenting fibers. Approximately 15% of the maintenance energy requirement of growing pigs and 30% in gestating sows are obtained by SCFA in the large intestine. In particular, butyrate, is a gut-health-promoting compound that acts as the main
energy source for colonocytes and exerts anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, high or moderate amounts of DF increase the number of Lactobacilli and tend to decrease the number of some coliforms and reduce ammonia concentration in the small intestine. Recent research reported that high DF
supplemented to late gestating sows in the last 2 weeks before expected farrowing reduced the proportion of stillborn piglets and consequently reduced total piglet mortality. Despite the facts, selecting optimal fiber components with right doses often create issues in sow feeding. Micro fibrillated cellulose (MFC) is a new generation plant derived innovative feed ingredient, might
improve sow performance during late gestation and early lactation, including colostrum quality, piglets development from birth until weaning, constipation index of the sow and microbiota composition of fecal samples of the sow. The MFC is originate from sugar beet pulp with a hyper branched structures consisting of more than 90% dry matter.
Effective start/end date15/01/202031/12/2023

Fields of Science

  • 413 Veterinary science
  • Nutrition
  • Gut health