News 1640 views last update:Mar 26, 2007

Herbs effective against round worms in pigs

The use of plant extracts can prevent large round worm (Ascaris suum ) infections in pigs, according to research from the Dutch Animal Sciences Group (ASG). Ecological pig producers, who often don't use conventional anti worm treatment, are particularly the ones who benefit from this.

A mixture of thyme, lemon balm and purple coneflower at a 5% inclusion rate in the feed of pigs resulted in a good prevention against the round worms. However, a dosage of 5% is economically not feasible. ASG therefore investigates whether the dosage can be lowered and if the addition of black tea may improve the efficacy of the herb mixture. Black tea is rich in tannins, which is assumed to limit the amount of worm eggs produced. The tea also disrupts the ability of worms to attach to the intestinal mucosa layer.

Fattening pigs

ASG is currently running trials with individual housed fattening pigs that have been challenged with a worm infection. Some animals receive the herb mixture with 1% thyme, lemon balm and purple coneflower in the feed. Some animals receive the same mixture, added with 1% black tea. Both groups will be compared with control animals and animals that received Flubendazole at day 42 after infection.

Keep it natural

Round worms are a significant problem in ecological pig farming systems. The aim is to control the infections by natural extracts. The results from the trials by ASG will be published mid 2007.

More information:

Dossier AllAbout plant extracts

Related website:

Animal Sciences Group WUR

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