Acid based Eubiotics as Natural Alternatives to Therapeutic Zinc Oxide in Newly Weaned Piglets

Published on: 08/14/2019
Author/s : H. Hall1, M. Nyachoti 2 and D. Harrington 1. / 1 Anpario PLC, Manton Wood Enterprise Park, S80 2RS, UK; 2 University of Manitoba, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada.

Background and objectivesThe recent EU ban on therapeutic levels of zinc in animal diets has led to concern regarding potential performance losses and animal welfare. Potential alternatives such as organic acids have been shown to be beneficial in reducing gram negative bacterial and promote digestibility (Canibe et al., 2001; Mroz, 2005). These properties may also help in the replacement of zinc ...

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Pablo Moreno Pablo Moreno
Veterinary Doctor
August 14, 2019
Very interesting but the groups is too small and do not reflect what happens in real life with a large number of pigs per pen. Where there is more factors to trigger digestive problems.
August 14, 2019
Hi Pablo,

Thank you for your comment. Yes this the first piece of work we carried out looking at the effect our products had following E.coli challenge. We have subsequently done work with veterinary groups on farms replacing zinc oxide in their weaners.
October 19, 2019
I agree with Dr Pablo regarding the low number of piglets per experimental unit. I think the number of repetitions (6) is also very low for piglets. These details contribute to increase the coefficient of variation, which may compromise the statistical analysis of the data. Interestingly, although there was no significant variation in consumption and feed conversion, weight gain varied significantly. How to justify this improvement in weight gain, without variation in feed conversion or feed intake.
October 29, 2019

Dear Prof. Donzele,

I agree piglet numbers are constrained in this work and as it is a challenge study we expect to see a larger degree of variation so would drive a need for more piglet numbers. There were numerical differences in feed intake but this was highly variable due to age of piglet and health implications following the K88+ challenge, therefore it was not significant.
In larger scale work on farm, we have seen that intake is the same or slightly higher with ABE use. This may then help to promote beneficial bacterial in the GIT which has a knock on effect on the need for zinc oxide. What is interesting is that piglets do not choose to consume a diet high in zinc oxide and so in some cases, we are reducing voluntary intakes as a way to manage the amount of feed entering the large intestine. I think by looking at diet digestibility, and suitability as well as managing bacterial populations we should be able to produce pigs with lower zinc dietary levels. Have you done any work in this area?

October 29, 2019
Heidi, your comments confirm my considerations regarding the low number of animals and repetition that were used in your study. It should be considered that scientific rigor in the work is of fundamental importance to ensure, with a certain degree of confidence, the repeatability of the study results when transferring to farms at field level. As for your question specifically about my experience in this line of research, I don't have it.
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