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Effects of Levan Supplementation on Growth Performance, Nutrient Digestibility and Faecal Dry Matter Content in Weaned Pigs

19 February 2014

Research from Korea indicates that adding the polysaccharide, levan, to the diet had some growth-promoting effects similar to antibiotics in weaner pigs.

A total of 144 weanling pigs (18±1 day of age) with an average bodyweight of 5.48±0.65kg were used in a 28-day trial to evaluate the effects of dietary levan supplementation on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and faecal dry matter content in comparison to apramycin (antibacterial growth promoter) in weanling pigs.

The experiment was reported by Z.F. Zhang and I.H. Kim from South Korea in the journal, Livestock Science.

Pigs were randomly allocated into four treatments with two levels of apramycin (0 or 165mg per kg) and two levels of levan (0 or 1g per kg). There were six replications per treatment with six pigs per pen (three barrows and three gilts).

Diets were fed in two phases: phase 1 (from days 0 to 14) and phase 2 (from days 15 to 28).

Administration of either levan or apramycin improved (P<0.05) average daily gain during phase 1 and overall.

Pigs fed apramycin had greater (P<0.05) average daily gain and gain:feed ratio than pigs fed other diets in phase 2.

The apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter, nitrogen and gross energy was increased (P<0.05) in response to either levan or apramycin treatments during phase 1.

Apramycin administration decreased (P<0.05) faecal dry matter content from days 0 to 14, whereas levan decreased (P<0.05) faecal dry matter content from days 15 to 28.

The results of the current study indicated that levan had some growth-promoting effects similar to antibiotics in weanling pigs, concluded Zhang and Kim.

Reference

Zhang Z.F. and I.H. Kim. 2014. Effects of levan supplementation on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and fecal dry matter content in comparison to apramycin (antibacterial growth promoter) in weanling pigs. Livestock Science. 159:71–74.

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

February 2014

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