Probiotics have been considered a suitable alternative to the use of antibiotics in pig production to promote pig growth. In growing-finishing pigs, several studies have reported an improved growth performance and meat quality in probiotic fed pigs, however, limited research has been done to assess the effects of multi-species probiotics (MSP). Therefore, the objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of MSP on the growth performance, apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of nutrients, faecal bacterial counts, diarrhoea score and meat quality characteristics in growing–finishing pigs. A total of 150 pigs [(Yorkshire × Landrace) × Duroc] with an average weight of 24.5 ± 0.88 kg were fed in two phases in a 16-week trial. Pigs were randomly allotted to one of three diets: 1) a basal diet without probiotic supplementation; 2) the basal diet supplemented with 0.1 g/kg MSP; and 3) the basal diet supplemented with 0.2 g/kg MSP. The MSP product used in this study consisted on a commercially combination of Bacillus coagulans, B. licheniformis, B. subtilis and Clostridium butyricum.
Pigs fed with MSP supplemented diets showed increased body weight, average daily gain and feed to gain ratio without any effects on average daily feed intake at overall experiment. Apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter and nitrogen were improved at week 16 in MSP fed pigs. Dietary inclusion of MSP also increased the presence of beneficial faecal bacteria, such as Lactobacilli and decreased E. coli counts during the entire experiment. Regarding the diarrhea score, pigs fed the MSP diet received lower scores compared with pigs fed the control diet. As for meat quality parameters, an increased sensory evaluation of color and back fat thickness was reported on dietary MSP fed pigs at week 16. Furthermore, a tendency to increased firmness and a reduction of cooking and drip loss was observed.
Dietary inclusion of MSP resulted in an improvement on growth performance, ATTD of nutrients, faecal microbiota, diarrhea score and meat quality in pigs, showing a great potential for their future use in pig production.
Balasubramanian, Balamuralikrishnan, Sang In Lee, and In-Ho Kim. 2018. Inclusion of dietary multi-species probiotic on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, meat quality traits, faecal microbiota and diarrhoea score in growing–finishing pigs. Italian Journal of Animal Science 17, no. 1: 100-106. https://doi.org/10.1080/1828051X.2017.1340097