Farrowing is a critical period for sows. This stage is very suitable for digestive disorder such as constipation. Most of the time, these troubles are closely linked to dysbiosis and can have harmful consequences on animals. To manage these situations, intestinal microbiota modulation could be an effective solution. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a standardized citrus extract (SCE, NorSpice® AB, Nor-Feed SAS) on peripartum sows and their offspring. The SCE has also been characterized to better understand the observed effect on sows. Fifty sows on peripartum were divided into 2 groups: (1) a control (CTL) group (23 sows) fed with a standard diet; and (2) an SCE group (27 sows) fed with standard diet and supplemented with 2,500 ppm of SCE, 10 d before farrowing and 5 d after. Sows’ performances (feed intake, litter weight gain and transit resumption) and microbiota were monitored. In parallel, SCE compounds were identified using GCMS and LC-MS (dereplication). Results showed that SCE supplementation allowed to increase sows’ feed intake compared with CTL group. The interval between farrowing and first dejection was also reduce in the SCE group, which indicate a better and faster transit resumption after farrowing. Moreover, piglets litter weight gain between 24 h and 7 d after farrowing was higher in SCE group compared with CTL group. The SCE characterization allowed to identify pectic oligosaccharides as SCE major components and confirm the presence of 30 secondary metabolites including citric acid, caffeic acid, eriocitrin, hesperidin and naringin. These compounds are well known for their positive effect on different compartments of the gut and microbiota, according to the literature. In conclusion, SCE supplementation showed beneficial effects on peripartum sows’ performances and welfare. These effects were correlated with sow’s microbiota modulation. The SCE characterization allowed the identification of molecules that explain in part the observed effect on sows. Further studies will be necessary to confirm the role of these molecules.
Key Words: citrus extract, sows, farrowing, characterization, microbiota management.
Presented at the 10th Symposium on Gut Health in Production of Food Animals 2022, St. Louis, USA.