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South African Journal of Animal Science

Print version ISSN 0375-1589

Abstract

MATYSIAK, B et al. The effect of plant extracts fed before farrowing and during lactation on sow and piglet performance. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2012, vol.42, n.1, pp. 15-21. ISSN 0375-1589.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a mixture of plant extracts (XTRACT 6930), consisting of 5.4% (wt/wt) carvacrol (oregano), 3.2% cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon) and 2.2% capsicum oleoresin (Mexican pepper), on piglet and sow performance when used as dietary supplements to the sows. The experiment was performed on 40 sows, divided into two groups (control and experimental) of 20 sows per group. The study was conducted from day 90 of pregnancy until weaning at day 28. The sows in the control group received the basal diet, and the sows in the experimental group (XT group) received the basal diet, supplemented with 100 mg of XTRACT/kg feed. Backfat thickness of the sows at points P2 and P4 was measured on day 90 of pregnancy and at weaning. Milk samples were collected from each sow on day 15 ± 2 of lactation. The backfat thickness of the sows that received the plant extracts was significantly thicker at weaning than that of the controls, showing less loss of backfat during lactation. The lactose content in the milk of the XTRACT group was higher than that of the control. Piglets of the sows supplemented with the plant extract had a significantly higher average daily gain during the suckling period and a higher body weight at weaning. The mortality of piglets during the suckling period was significantly lower in the XTRACT group than in the control group. The results showed that the plant extract supplementation of sows during late pregnancy and lactation had a beneficial effect on the performance of the sows and piglets.

Keywords : XTRACT 6930; carvacrol; cinnamaldehyde; capsicum oleoresin; sows; piglets.

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