Live yeast (LY) supplementation in gestation and lactation diets has been shown to improve sow health status and growth performance of piglets before weaning. Moreover, LY has been shown to enhance growth performance, nutrient digestion, and immune status of nursery pigs. However, little is known about effects of LY supplementation during gestation and lactation on growth performance of weanling pigs. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine the effects of LY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae spp.) supplementation in sow diets during gestation and lactation and to determine the effects of supplementation of their offspring after weaning on growth performance and nutrient digestibility. For that purpose, a total of 40 sows similar in terms of parity and expected farrowing date were randomly assigned to two dietary treatments: a control group (CTR) and a live yeast supplemented group (LY). Litter size, mortality and piglets’ birth and weaning weights were measured. After weaning, 128 mixed-sex piglets (64 from each sow treatment) were selected according to their source litter and initial BW, and randomly allotted to two treatments: a control group (CTR) and a live yeast supplemented group (LY), with 4 pigs per pen (32 pigs per treatment) for a 6-week growth performance study. At the end of the performance trial, two barrows from each pen were moved to metabolism crates for a digestibility trial.
As a result, supplementing sow diets with LY had no effects on the piglets’ birth and weaning weights, the litter size or piglet mortality. However, piglets had greater BW on days 21 and 42 post-weaning when sows were fed diets supplemented with LY, and overall ADG was greater in piglets from sows that received the LY supplemented diet. There was no effect of sow and nursery diets on overall ADFI and G:F intake. Supplementing diets with LY during the nursery phase increased apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of DM, GE, and P during this phase. The ATTD of GE was also greater in piglets from sows that received LY.
In conclusion, LY supplementation of diets during gestation and lactation and during the nursery phase could increase ADG and ATTD of DM, GE, and P in the offspring, and this may lead to a greater lifetime growth performance in the offspring.
Lu, H., Wilcock, P., Adeola, O., & Ajuwon, K. M. (2019). Effect of live yeast supplementation to gestating sows and nursery piglets on post-weaning growth performance and nutrient digestibility. Journal of animal science. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz150