A study conducted by Dankook University, South Korea, investigated the supplementation of chito-oligsaccharides (COS) on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood characteristics, and diarrhea incidence in weanling pigs.
The study was conducted to investigate effects of supplementation with a chito-oligosaccharide (COS) on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood characteristics and diarrhea incidence in weanling pigs.
A total of 120 Landrace × Yorkshire–Duroc pigs (21 ± 1 d of age) with an average initial body weight of 7.10 ± 0.48 kg were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments, with six pens per treatment and five pigs per pen.
A maize–soybean meal-based diet was formulated as a basal diet. Experimental treatments included: 1) CON, basal diet; 2) ANT: basal diet + antibiotics (phase 1, 40 mg/kg avilamycin and 100 mg/kg oxytetracycline; phase 2 and phase 3, 40 mg/kg chlortetracyclinean and 100 mg/kg neomycin); 3) COS1, basal diet + 1 g/kg COS; and 4) COS2, basal diet + 2 g/kg COS.
The experiment consisted of three phases (d 0 to d 7, d 8 to d 21 and d 22 to d 42) and lasted 42 d.
Improved growth performance and total tract apparent digestibility (TTAD) of dry matter (DM) and nitrogen (N) only applied to the high inclusion level of COS (2 g/kg) (P < 0.05) and both performance and digestibility were lower (P < 0.05) than for the group supplemented with antibiotics.
However, lymphocyte concentration and appearance of the diarrhea decreased (P < 0.05) in response to supplementation of COS.
The results of the current study indicates that dietary supplementation with 2 g/kg COS enhanced growth performance and improved total tract apparent digestibility (TTAD) of of dry matter and nitrogen.