Dietary organic acids (OA) have been described to improve growth performance, as well as reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) have been shown to be good alternatives for nutritional antibiotics in piglets, due to high antibacterial activity. Additionally, OA and MCFA blends can create an acidic condition in the gut by lowering pH, inhibiting pathogenic bacteria. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of organic acid and medium-chain fatty acid blends on production performance of sows and their litters. For that purpose, a total of 36 sows (Landrace × Yorkshire) with an average parity of 3.3, were randomly allocated to three treatments with 12 replicates: a basal diet (CON); CON + 0.1% OA and MCFA blends (MC1); and CON + 0.2% OA and MCFA blends (MC2). The OA and MCFA blend was composed of 17% fumaric acid, 13% citric acid, 10% malic acid, 1.2% capric acid, 1.2% caprylic acid and 57.6% Kaolin. Productive parameters and farrowing performance were recorded.
No differences were observed between treatments in body weight (BW) loss, average daily feed intake, backfat thickness, digestibility of dry matter, nitrogen, or energy of sows during lactation. However, piglets from the supplemented groups (MC1 and MC2) showed an increased BW and average daily gain. On parturition and weaning day, there was a linear increase in fecal Lactobacillus counts on supplemented sows, as well as a linear decrease in fecal Escherichia coli counts on weaning day. MC1 and MC2 piglets also had a linear increase in fecal Lactobacillus counts and a linear decrease in fecal E. coli counts.
In conclusion, dietary supplementation of OA and MCFA blends in sows showed beneficial effects to sows because of a shift on their fecal microbiota by increasing Lactobacillus and decreasing E. coli counts. Moreover, the performance of piglets was increased.
Lan, R., & Kim, I. (2018). Effects of organic acid and medium chain fatty acid blends on the performance of sows and their piglets. Animal Science Journal, 89(12), 1673-1679. https://doi.org/10.1111/asj.13111