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Review webinar on reducing antibiotics and ZnO in weaner diets

Yeast solutions can play a prominent nutritional role to overcome the negative consequences of weaning for young piglets. That was the main message of a webinar, held on Wednesday May 27. The webinar is now ready for re-viewing.

In total 3 prominent speakers shared their idea at the webinar, which was held by Phileo by Lesaffre and powered by Pig Progress and its sister title All About Feed. The broadcast was hosted from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with speakers connected to the studio from all over the planet.

Click here to get direct access to the webinar  

Dr Megan Edwards: Nutritional solutions at weaning

The webinar was kicked off by Dr Megan Edwards, independent nutritionist at Integral Nutrition, based in Vietnam. She described the challenges weaner pigs are facing once they are weaned and zoomed in on nutritional solutions that are available for pork producers to alleviate the effects. In her talk, she touched on e.g. nucleotides, myo-inositol, glutamine and threonine. While launching a plea for novel ways to manage gut health, she concluded that “heavy metals and antibiotics have potentially covered up some of our nutritional short comings in the past”.

She added: “We can minimise the need for therapeutic zinc oxide and the potential increase in antibiotic use by better understanding the key needs of the weaner pig during its developmental phase (weaning to 7-10 weeks).” Management practices and nutrition, she said, can have a positive and synergistic effect.

The line-up of the webinar with speakers Dr Megan Edwards, Dr Tadele Kiros and Shen Fei Long. - Photo: Company Webcast
The line-up of the webinar with speakers Dr Megan Edwards, Dr Tadele Kiros and Shen Fei Long. - Photo: Company Webcast

Dr Tadele Kiros: Modifying piglet gut microbiota

The microphone went from Vietnam to Canada, where Dr Tadele Kiros, global R&D manager swine, of Phileo by Lesaffre, addressed the effect of probiotic yeast strain Sc 47 on pig gut microbiota. He said that modification of gut microbiota can be a tool to reduce antibiotics usage. He therefore introduced the results of 2 trials to test whether probiotic yeast can modify gut microbiota of piglets towards beneficial bacteria.

That was the case, he concluded, as yeast supplementation in piglet diets modified the microbial composition of piglets towards beneficial bacteria, increased phylogenetic similarity and homogeneity of microbiota between pigs and enhanced positive correlations among different bacterial genera.

Shin Fei Long: Yeast and growth performance

What that all meant in practice for pig performance was presented by the last speaker, Shin Fei Long, PhD researcher at China Agricultural University and North Carolina State University. He also presented the outcomes of 2 trials, where the effects of yeast supplementation was measured on healthy weaned pigs and those challenged with Escherichia coli.

He concluded: “Live yeast can be antibiotic and zinc oxide substitutes on improving growth performance, nutrient digestibility, serum immunoglobulin, antioxidant status, and volatile fatty acids in faeces of weaned pigs”.

In addition, he said, “Dietary live yeast supplementation can replace antibiotics on improving growth performance and intestinal integrity, maintaining the normal body temperature and reducing diarrhoea in pigs after enterotoxigenic E. coli K88 challenge.”

Click here to get direct access to the webinar