A lot is being said about gut health problems in piglets – but how to define a healthy piglet gut? That question – and much more was answered at Pig Progress’ seminar/webinar ‘Healthy guts, healthy piglets’, held at EuroTier in Germany, on November 16. Missed it? Here’s your chance to catch up.
‘Resilience’ – that was a term that was recurring in a very insightful and interesting presentation around the questions ‘What is a healthy pig gut & how does it function’ by Charlotte Lauridsen. Dr Lauridsen is head of Immunology and Microbiology, at Aarhus University’s Department of Animal Science.
A healthy microbiota in a pig’s gut, she argued, should not be considered with a static view. A gut is a living thing, which changes all the time.
She considered resilience to be an important criterion for ‘health’, when studying factors that could possibly influence the highly dynamic gut ecosystem in pigs. Dr Lauridsen defined resilience as “a capacity or ability of a system or individual to react to an external force while fulfilling some further condition at the end of the response.” Review the entire seminar/webinar if you like to understand more about her insightful presentation.
Soy protein for piglet diets
A healthy gut can be promoted by presenting beneficial types of feed ingredients, the topic of the next speaker at the seminar/webinar. Dr Aloys Laue, nutritionist at Agrokorn, Denmark spoke of ‘highly-processed soy protein for piglet diets’ – a description of the company’s product AlphaSoy 530.
He touched on anti-nutritional factors in soy product and emphasised this to be a heterogenous group of compounds. He then moved on to point to soy oligosaccharides stating that some studies show that they act in a classic prebiotic manner.
From left to right: Clare Gaukroger, University of Newcastle; Charlotte Lauridsen, University of Aarhus; Attila Kovacs, Biomin; Aloys Laue, Agrokorn; Vincent ter Beek, editor, Pig Progress. Photo: Emmy Koeleman
Replacements of acid components
Another way to promote gut health is by use of organic acids in piglet feed, an approach further explained by Attila Kovacs of Biomin, Austria. Organic acids, he told, work as permeabilisers in 3 different ways:
- they weaken the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria,
- facilitate antimicrobials to enter bacteria cells and
- boost the effect of antimicrobial substances.
He showed various trials to support the benefits of organic acids when combined with other active ingredients.
Copper, phytase and weaned pig performance
On behalf of Novus International spoke Clare Gaukroger, PhD candidate at Newcastle University, United Kingdom. In a well-prepared presentation, she dived into the question how copper can help enhance a piglet’s gut and thus improve weaned pig performance. She also touched on the interaction between copper, phytate and phytase.
She stated that the results of her research complements previous studies comparing the efficacy of organic and inorganic copper sources in pig diets. Her hypothesis was that supplementing the Novus product Mintrex Cu in combination with phytase will have an additive effect on performance.
Review the entire seminar/webinar through this link.