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Lactose and seaweed positive on E. coli reduction in pigs

Researchers at the Lyons Research Farm in Ireland investigated the effects of lactose inclusion and seaweed extract on performance, digestibility of diet components and microbial populations in newly weaned pigs.

A 2 × 2 factorial experiment was conducted to investigate the interactions between two different lactose (L) levels (150 g/kg vs. 250 g/kg) and seaweed extract (SWE): (0 g/kg vs. 2.8 g/kg; containing laminarin and fucoidan) derived from Laminaria spp. on growth performance, coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) and faecal microbial populations in the weanling pig.
 
Two hundred and forty pigs (120 male and 120 female) were selected after weaning (24 days of age, 7.6 ± 0.9 kg live weight) and blocked on the basis of live weight and within each block assigned to one of the four dietary treatments.
 
The pigs were offered four different diets: two levels of lactose (150 or 250 g/kg) and with or without seaweed extract.
 
Inclusion of seaweed extract gave better daily gain and feed conversions. A higher lactose level improved average daily gain and daily feed intake.
 
Effect of seaweed extract

Diet
Lactose
Lactose + seaweed
P
Average daily gain (g)
281
322
<0.01
Gain / feed ratio (g/kg)
611
669
<0.05
 
Effect of lactose level

Lactose inclusion
150 g/kg
250 g/kg
P
Average daily gain (g)
283
319
<0.05
Av. daily feed intake (g)
447
480
<0.05
The inclusion of seaweed extract increased the CTTAD of nitrogen (N) and gross energy (GE) and reduced the counts of Escherichia coli in the faeces compared with non-seaweed diets.
 
Pigs fed the high lactose diets had increased CTTAD of GE and N and decreased the counts of E. coli in the faeces compared with pigs offered low lactose diets.
 
Summarising, the inclusion of either a high dietary concentration of L or a laminarin–fucoidan extract increased the CTTAD of diet components, decreased the counts of E. coli in the faeces and improved performance of pigs after weaning in the current study.
 
The full research report can be obtained through ScienceDirect.

The effects of lactose inclusion and seaweed extract derived from Laminaria spp. on performance, digestibility of diet components and microbial populations in newly weaned pigs – 2010 – J.V. O’Doherty, S. Dillon, S. Figat, J.J. Callan and T. Sweeney, School of Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary Medicine, College of Life Sciences, Lyons Research Farm, Newcastle, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Dick Ziggers

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