11-02-2020

The Effect of Applying Herbal Extracts on The Performance of Sows and their Piglets


Ivelina Zapryanova – Agricultural University Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The modern pig production is unthinkable without the use of various growth promoters, especially in young animals with not yet developed digestive and immune system. This topic became especially trending after the EU's ban the use of subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics as growth stimulants. Assessing the importance of the problem, over the last ten years, scientists around the world have focused on the search for new "natural", "safe" and environment-friendly growth stimulants, substitutes for the nutritional antibiotics used so far. The abundance of unique herbs in our country provides for the opportunity to manufacture feed additives, applicable in livestock breeding. These additives can successfully substitute for the already banned antibiotics, used for many years as growth stimulants.

The aim of this research is to determine the effect on productivity of pigs, when supplemented with the biologically active herbal feed additive VemoHerb BP to compound feed.

The series VemoHerb is a feed additive produced by “Vemo 99” Ltd., Sofia, Bulgaria and is a mixture of biologically active natural compounds. The product contains saponins, sterols, flavonoids, tannins, polyphenols and others and has been tested in a series of experiments in starter and grower pigs. The trials with pigs have been conducted in the Experimental site of the Institute of Stock-Breeding Sciences, Konstinbrod, Bulgaria.

Results and discussion

Аn experiment was conducted with 10 sows and their piglets, divided into two groups - control and experimental. Тhe reason for this experimenт is to determine the effect of intake VemoHerb BP in pregnant and lactating sows and its indirect effect on their offspring. Animals in the first control group received mixed feed without the addition of productivity stimulants, and the second group received the same compound feed, but with the addition of 150 g/t of VemoHerb BP feed from the 100th day of pregnancy until the end of lactation period. From the 100th to the 114th day of pregnancy, the mothers received 2.5 kg of feed per day, and during the lactation period the nutrition was always ad libitum. From day 7 after giving birth, the lactation period piglets from both groups were fed with a pre-mix without any nutritional antibiotic or VemoHerb BP, and the lactation period lasted 35 days.

The good production performance of sows, especially during the lactation period, is determined by the milk production and its quality, which is important for the life of the piglets and their following growth and development. The results from the experiment are presented in the following table:  

Group

Parameters

I control group (without VemoHerb BP)

ІІ experimental group (with VemoHerb BP)

Total number of sows

5

5

Feed intake, kg

 

 

from 100th to 114th day

2,5

2,5

from 1st to 35th day

6,0

6,108

Total number of piglets

 

 

born

41

37

shoat

39

37

Live weight, kg

 

 

at birth

1,432±0,02а*

1,502±0,026а*

on 21 day

4,777±0,118а*

5,189±0,162а*

on 35 day

6,788±0,175

7,248±0,335

Growth, g/day

 

 

1-21 day

159±5,83а*

176±7,73а*

22-35 day

144±10,56

147±15,76

1-35 day

152±4,98

164±9,47

*The value marks of the same letters are significant at: а – Р<0,05.

The data show that the amount of feed intake from sows during the lactation period is 1.83% higher in the VemoHerb BP supplemented group. This difference, although unproven statistically, is essential for the lactating mother because higher feed intake results in a better milk for the piglets.

The live birth weight of the piggles from the group receiving VemoHerb BP through their mother was 5% higher than the control piggles - 1,432 kg versus 1,502 kg. The difference was statistically significant at P <0.05.

Improving the general physiological condition of the mothers even in the last 14 days of pregnancy leads to a higher live birth weight.

21 days after farrowing, the difference increased by 8.6% and at the 35 days, i.e. when the piglets were weaning, the difference between control and experimental groups was 6.8%.

The results for the average daily growth are similar. For the piglets in the experimental group the average daily growth (weight gain) is: 176 g, 147 g and 164 g, and for the control piglets:159 g, 144 g and 152 g, for days 1 to 21, 22 to 35, and for the entire lactation period from 1 to 35 days. The relative values for the daily growth over the entire lactation period show a higher growth rate with 7.9% for the pigs from the experimental group compared to the control group. The health of the sows and the piglets was monitored daily during the experiment. In the first few days after the farrowing, two piglets dropped from the control group. Morbidity and mortality were not detected in the experimental group until the end of the lactation period.

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