Dried Chicory Root Benefitial to Organic Piglet Growth

DENMARK - Feeding dried chicory root to organic piglets can have a beneficial effect on their growth in the period immediately after weaning according to results from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Aarhus.
calendar icon 9 July 2008
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Chicory root can minimise boar taint and also has a positive effect on the growth of organic weaner pigs.

Chicory root has many beneficial effects on pigs. It has been shown that the root minimizes boar taint and now it also turns out that dried chicory root has a positive effect on piglet growth right after weaning. This has been shown in a series of studies with chicory root carried out by scientists at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Aarhus.

Piglets often succumb to diarrhoea after weaning. Chicory root cannot prevent this, but feeding piglets chicory root can strengthen their health.

-We could not prove that chicory root has any effect on the degree of post-weaning diarrhoea, but the improved growth rate and increased concentration of lactic acid in the manure right after weaning indicates that chicory root has an overall beneficial effect on piglet health immediately after weaning at seven weeks of age, say senior scientist Mette Skou Hedemann and research professor Knud Erik Bach Knudsen, Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

Facts: There is a great interest in finding preventive feeding strategies such as using prebiotics. Prebiotics stimulate beneficial micro-organisms in the gastro-intestinal tract and can inhibit disease-causing bacteria. Chicory root contains fructane, which has well-described prebiotic traits.

The project was supported by the Foundation for Organic Farming under the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.

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