Field Evaluation of a Bioregulator Containing Live Bacillus cereus Spores on Health Status and Performance of Sows and their Litters
AuthorAlexopoulos, C.; Karagiannidis, A.; Kritas, S. K.; Boscos, C.; Georgoulakis, I. E.; Kyriakis, S. C.
The efficacy of Paciflor, a bioregulator containing live Bacillus cereus CIP 5832 spores, was assessed in sows during late pregnancy and lactation, as well as in their piglets up to the growing phase. Two groups each of 30 pregnant gilts and sows received normal feed (T1 group), or feed with 85 g Paciflor per ton feed (T2 group), from 15 clays prior to farrowing up to the end of the lactation period. Furthermore, 15 litters of the T1 group and 15 litters of the T2 group, were offered normal feed from the 5th to the 70th days of life (T1.1 and T2.1 groups, respectively), while the remaining 15 litters each of the T1 and T2 groups received the same feed but including Paciflor at a dose of 100 g/ton (from day 5 to day 49) and 50 g/ton (from day 50 to day 70). These pig litters were T1.2 and T2.2, respectively. No differences were seen between the T1 and T2 groups with respect to the clinical observations (loss ot appetite, fever, mastitis, metritis and returns to oestrus, treatments applied, deaths, or removals to the slaughterhouse), gestation length, bodyweight of sows at farrowing or litter-size at birth. However, during lactation, the fat content of the dam's milk was increased (0.46% more fat), the body weight loss of sows was reduced and the number of weaned pigs per sow was increased (0.6 more pigs per litter) after administration of Paciflor (P < 0.05). Weaning to service interval was also reduced by 1 day (P < 0.05). Moreover, piglets receiving Paciflor with their feed (T1.2 and T2.2 groups) showed less incidence of scours and lower mortality compared to the untreated piglets (T1.1 and T2.1 groups), particularly those pigs originating from Paciflor-treated dams (T2.2 group) (P < 0.05). Despite the fact that no difference was seen between groups with regard to the amount of feed consumed, the feed conversion ratio of Paciflor-treated piglets (T2.2 and T1.2) was significantly improved compared to that of the untreated piglets (T2.1 and T1.1) (P < 0.05). With respect to weight gain, for the Paciflor-treated piglets, those born to Paciflor-treated mothers (T2.2) were 0.56 kg heavier than those born to untreated dams (T1.2) (P < 0.05). It is concluded that administration of Paciflor in dams during the end of pregnancy and during lactation, as well as to their offspring during suckling and the flat-deck period is beneficial for the survival and growth of the piglets.