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Title:A pilot study on the effects of a yeast probiotic on sow and piglet behavior and well-being
Author(s):Visconti, Anne
Advisor(s):Salak-Johnson, Janeen L.
Department / Program:Animal Sciences
Discipline:Animal Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:In 2006, a ban on the use of antibiotics was implemented in Europe which has resulted in an increase interest in finding alternatives to therapeutic use of antibiotics in swine industry. Thus, we hypothesize that feeding sows probiotics during gestation and lactation could potentially improve health and well-being of not only sows but her piglets’ as well. The objectives of this study were to: (a) evaluate the effects of feeding a bolus of yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (yeast probiotic) to sows during gestation and lactation on her behavior and well-being as well as her piglets’ well-being, and (b) assess the effects of weaning stress on piglets from sows that were fed probiotics. At d 84 of gestation, 18 sows derived from Genetiporc maternal line across 3 blocks (6 sows/block) were randomly allotted to receive either a placebo bolus (control; CON) or probiotic bolus (treatment, PRO) once per day till the end of lactation. The probiotic bolus used was composed of a monogastric-specific yeast produced by LALLEMAND, known as LEVUCELL SB® (Saccharomyces boulardii CNCMI-1079). Data were collected to assess behavioral, physiological, and performance traits of sows and piglets. Data were analyzed using the Mixed Models procedure of SAS. Sows fed PRO bolus had higher (P < 0.01) white blood cell counts compared to sows fed CON bolus. On d115 of gestation, sows fed PRO bolus had higher (P < 0.05) level of total white blood cell and neutrophils compared to sows fed CON bolus. On day of weaning (~d135 of experimental period), plasma cortisol was less (P < 0.05) among sows fed PRO bolus compared to sows fed CON. At birth, those piglets from sows fed PRO bolus had less (P < 0.01) total plasma cortisol compared to those piglets from sows fed CON bolus. Piglets from sows fed PRO bolus had higher (P < 0.05) white blood cell counts overall during lactation compared to piglets from sows fed CON. On d7 of age, those piglets from sows fed PRO bolus had less (P < 0.05) neutrophils (%) but more (P = 0.057) lymphocytes (%) compared with those piglets from sows fed CON bolus. The results of this study indicate that probiotics may have beneficial effects on both sow and piglet behavior and well-being. Future research should continue to compare various aspects of yeast-like products that may have potential physiological effects on immune status, behavior and productivity of sows and their offspring, thus improving well-being.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Anne Visconti
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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