Growth and reproductive performance and maternal and piglet blood profiles of pigs fed diets containing differing direct-fed microbial products

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A study was carried out to ascertain the effects of three DFM products (RE3TM, RE3 PLUS and a combination of RE3TM and P3) on the growth performance, gut microflora, blood profile and reproductive performance of gilts and on growth performance and blood profile of their piglets. Sixteen Large White gilts of an average initial weight of 41.66kg were randomly allocated to 4 dietary treatments (T1- Control, basal diet without DFM, T2- 1ml RE3TM per kg feed, T3- 1ml RE3 PLUS per kg feed and T4- 1ml RE3TM + 0.5ml P3 per kg feed) in a completely randomized design. The experiment consisted of 2 phases, i.e. a grower-finisher and a gestation and lactation phases for the gilts. Diets containing 23, 18 and 16% CP were prepared and offered to piglets, growing and lactating gilts and pregnant gilts, respectively during the entire experiment. Growing-finishing gilts were allowed 4% of body weight of feed until they attained a body weight of 80±0.5kg before the feed allowance was reduced to 3% of body weight. Pregnant gilts were offered a daily feed allowance of 2kg while lactating gilts were provided 5kg of feed. Piglets were offered ad libitum access to creep feed at 2 weeks of age. Water was provided ad libitum. Weighing was done weekly for gilts until they became pregnant whilst piglets were weighed within 24 hour after they were farrowed and subsequently weekly until weaning at 4 weeks of age. Blood samples were taken from gilts at the start of the experiment and after the first phase of the experiment (Week 12) for haematology, serum biochemistry and immunological studies. Blood samples were taken from piglets within 24 hours after birth and after every week until they were weaned. Faecal samples were also taken from gilts for microbial analysis after the 1st phase of the experiment. The study spanned a period of 32 weeks. It was concluded that with the exception of blood serum protein, the 3 different probiotic products did not seem to significantly influence growth performance, reproductive performance, blood profile iii and gut microflora of the gilts, and the growth performance of piglets. However, DFM supplementation resulted in decreased concentrations of RBC and MCHC but increased concentrations of monocytes, PLT and IgM in piglets.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Animal Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Animal Nutrition)