Impact of Dietary Supplementation of Lactic Acid Bacteria Fermented Rapeseed with or without Macroalgae on Performance and Health of Piglets Following Omission of Medicinal Zinc from Weaner Diets

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The feeding of medicinal zinc oxide (ZnO) to weaner piglets will be phased out after 2022 in Europe, leaving pig producers without options to manage post-weaning disorders. This study assessed whether rapeseed meal, fermented alone (FRM) or co-fermented with a single (Ascophylum nodosum; FRMA), or two (A. nodossum and Saccharina latissima; FRMAS) brown macroalagae species, could improve weaner piglet performance and stimulate intestinal development as well as maturation of gut microbiota in the absence of in-feed zinc. Weaned piglets (n = 1240) were fed, during 28–85 days of age, a basal diet with no additives (negative control; NC), 2500 ppm in-feed ZnO (positive control; PC), FRM, FRMA or FRMAS. Piglets fed FRM and FRMA had a similar or numerically improved, respectively, production performance compared to PC piglets. Jejunal villus development was stimulated over NC in PC, FRM and FRMAS (gender-specific). FRM enhanced colon mucosal development and reduced signs of intestinal inflammation. All fermented feeds and PC induced similar changes in the composition and diversity of colon microbiota compared to NC. In conclusion, piglet performance, intestinal development and health indicators were sustained or numerically improved when in-feed zinc was replaced by FRM.

Keywords: jejunal villus development; gut barrier function; colon microbiota; Ascophyllum nodossum; Saccharina latissima
Original languageEnglish
Article number137
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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