Effects of herbal extract on growth performance, fecal microbiota, nutrient digestibility, and blood
J. P. Wang and I. H. Kim
Date : 2010-12-08 Volume : 2

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with herbal extracts (HE) on performance, apparent nutrient digestibility, microbial shedding, and blood characteristics in weanling pigs. A total of 120 weaned barrows with average initial BW of 6.93 � 0.85 kg were included in this 35-d feeding trial. Pigs were randomly distributed into one of four treatment groups on the basis of BW and litter (5 pigs/pen, 6 replicate pens/treatment). Dietary treatments were: 1) negative control (NC), corn-soybean basal diet; 2) antibiotic control (PC), basal diet with antibiotics, 3) basal diets with herbal extract 0.5 g/kg (HE0.5), and 4) basal diets with herbal extract 1 g/kg (HE1). During the experimental period, ADG were higher (linear effect, P<0.05) in PC and HE1.0 group, whereas ADFI were unaffected by dietary treatment. The pigs fed diet supplemented antibiotics and HE were higher than those fed the NC diet in G/F during the whole experiment, and a linear effect were be observed in HE treatments (P<0.05) as the levels of HE increased. Administration of HE1 and PC increased (P<0.05) the digestibility of DM and nitrogen throughout the whole experiment. The number of E. coli linearly decreased with increasing levels of HE (P<0.05) at d 35. Additionally, HE linearly increased the number of Lactobacillus at d 21 (P<0.05), while no effect was observed in PC treatment. The fecal pH values were not influenced by the dietary treatment. The white blood cell in the blood was increased (P <0.05) in both PC and HE compared with the NC treatment at d 35, with the highest values in HE1 treatment. Moreover the serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) were linearly increased as the HE levels increased (P<0.05) at d 7, 21, and 35. And pigs fed the PC diet had higher IgG concentration than the control group only at d 35. In conclusion, the addition of HE and PC can improve the performance, inhibition the proliferation of E.coli, as well as modulating the immune-related cells in the blood. 1291802285.php