Fermented liquid feed for weaned piglets: impact of sedimentation in the feed slurry on performance and gut parameters

https://doi.org/10.17221/8169-CJASCitation:Missotten J.A.M., Michiels J., Ovyn A., De Smet S., Dierick N.A. (2015): Fermented liquid feed for weaned piglets: impact of sedimentation in the feed slurry on performance and gut parameters. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 60: 195-207.
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In two experiments with weaned piglets, the effects of fermented liquid feed (FLF) (produced with probiotic strain Pediococcus acidilactici, Bactocell®, Lallemand S.A.S.) on performance and some bacteriological and morpho-histological parameters of the gut were investigated, and the impact of sedimentation of the solids in the FLF thereon. In experiment I, FLF or the same dry feed (DRY) was offered ad libitum for 28 days to two groups of 15 weaned piglets (28 days of age) each (3 replicates of 5 pigs). Performance was negatively affected by feeding FLF and concomitant with that the group fed the FLF diet showed shorter villi (501 vs 550 µm) and smaller crypts (264 vs 289 µm) in the small intestine at 3 m proximal to the caecum (P < 0.05). It was assumed that these poorer results were due to sedimentation of the solids in the FLF and therefore a second experiment was conducted with sepiolite (10 g/kg) added to the feeds. Sepiolite tends to slow down the segregation of particles in slurry. The three feeding groups (weaned piglets, 27 days of age) in this experiment were DRY, DRY with probiotic (DRY+), and FLF. The group fed FLF (body weight gain (BWG) 254 g/piglet/day; feed : gain ratio 1.38) did now perform better (P < 0.05) than the groups fed the DRY (BWG 184 g/piglet/day; feed : gain ratio 1.52) and DRY+ (BWG 185 g/piglet/day; feed : gain ratio 1.48) diets, which did not differ. Villus length in the small intestine at 3 m proximal to the caecum was also higher for the group fed FLF (558 µm) compared with the group fed the DRY+ diet (490 µm; P < 0.05). It was concluded that feeding FLF is beneficial to freshly weaned piglets on condition that sedimentation of the solids in the feed slurry can be controlled.
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