Use of natural products in intestinal health in piglets
Intestinal health in piglets is a key aspect for the proper development and productivity. The gut is responsible for the absorption of nutrients present in the feed, so any alteration of its functioning has a negative impact on the use of feed and the growth of animals.
Piglets are exposed to a lot of stressors that promote the development of pathogenic microorganisms, especially during post weaning.
Read also: Importance of weaning in piglets and management strategies
From Biovet S.A., after years of research we have developed a product aimed at maintaining the intestinal health of piglets. Alquermold Natural, is a patented product, based on the cimenol ring, which allows to reduce the colonization of the intestinal epithelium by pathogenic microorganisms, increase the presence of Lactobacillus, thus improving the balance of the digestive flora and ensuring the correct development of piglets.
Intestinal health in piglets – stressors
Piglets are exposed to a large number of stressors during post-weaning, which promote intestinal colonization by different microorganisms
Unlike extensive production where post-weaning takes place around 17 weeks and progressively, under intensive conditions post-weaning is done earlier at 3-4 weeks of age and drastically.
In this transition the piglet moves to a new area, separated from its mother and along with piglets of different origins. At the same time, piglets must accommodate a new type of solid diet, very different from milk and causing a small fasting period that favors colonization of the digestive tract by different pathogens. Piglets show at this stage a deficiency in the secretion of hydrochloric acid that affects the digestibility of nutrients.
In addition, from this stage the piglet depends on its own immune system, still immature since it will not have the immunoglobulins (IgA) present in milk.
The main consequence of the alteration of the intestinal health in piglets is the onset of diarrhea during post weaning. These diarrheas are usually watery and cause a decrease in weight gain and mortality of piglets, which can reach 20-25%, if they do not receive adequate treatment.
The main pathogen involved in the development of this type of diarrhoea are enterotoxygenic strains of E. coli (ETEC), which attach to the digestive mucosa of the small intestine through fimbriae (F4 and F18) and produce various toxins that alter intestinal permeability and the ability of enterocytes to digest and absorb nutrients.
Other pathogens such as Clostridium perfringens, rotavirus or parasites such as cryptosporids or ascarides are also related to the onset of post weaning diarrhoea in piglets.
Economic impact and prevention
Alteration of the intestinal health of piglets results in large economic losses for farms due to reduced nutrient absorption and declining piglet growth. It has been estimated that this growth reduction results in losses of 28€/sow/year. On the other hand, mortality associated with alterations of the intestinal health results in the loss of around 40€/pig/year (S. Marie et al, 2014).
In Europe a high percentage of pig farms have alterations of the intestinal health of piglets during post-weaning: Spain 26%, Belgium 34%, France 37%, Poland 44%, Germany 47% and Denmark 53%.
Cimenol ring – natural solution
The cimenol ring is a phenolic compound present in different botanical extracts, which has a bactericidal and fungicidal effect.
It is effective against the main microorganisms that may affect the intestinal health of piglets: E. coli, C. perfringens, Salmonella, etc.
The cimenol ring causes the death of bacteria and fungi by osmotic shock, causing immediate release of the cellular contents into the medium, due to perforation of the bacterial membrane.
In the case of fungi, the cimenol ring inhibits the biosynthesis of ergosterol, which is the most important sterol ofthe fungal membrane, which favors the elimination of fungi.
Since Biovet S.A. we have developed and patented, Alquermold Natural, based on the cimenol ring, which allows to improve the intestinal health of piglets.
Studies show that the use of the cimenol ring during the post-weaning of piglets improves the balance of intestinal flora. This phenolic compound acts specifically against pathogenic microorganisms, favoring the development of beneficial microorganisms by competitive exclusion. It allows to significantly reduce the presence of E. coli and increase the presence of Lactobacillus at the intestinal level.
Improving gut health has a direct effect on productive parameters. In a study conducted on piglets during post-weaning it was observed how the diarrhea ratio was 2.87% in the control group, while in the cimenol ring group the diarrhoea ratio was 1.22%, which means a 57% reduction.
The improvement of intestinal health is reflected in the productive parameters, on the one hand, the animals supplemented with cimenol ring obtained a higher final weight, with a difference of 1.22kg/pig. On the other hand, the feed conversion rate was reduced in the cimenol ring group, with a difference of 4%.
Read also: Milk replacements for piglets
The use of the cimenol ring, thanks to its specific microbicide effect on intestinal pathogens, allows to improve the intestinal health of piglets, ensuring productive parameters.
The cimenol ring reduces the percentage of diarrhoea by 57%, improves the final weight of animals by 6%, while reducing the feed conversion rate by 4%.
In this way, the use of the cimenol ring has a positive effect on the economic balance of the farms, since it allows to obtain a greater amount of meat per animal, using a lower amount of feed.
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