The benefits of Orego-Stim for pigs under heat stress
Heat stress is one of the main factors that are causing huge losses in swine production and profits in hot climate regions throughout the world. Heat stress occurs when a physiological strain is placed on the body due to overexertion and overexposure to any combination of excessive environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, radiation and wind-producing conditions that are higher than the animal's thermo-neutral zone. Heat stress causes discomfort and negatively affects feed intake, growth and productivity. Economic losses due to heat stress are usually caused by lowered performance, decrease in reproductive function and increase in deaths.
Pigs are more sensitive to high ambient temperatures compared to other species of livestock, because they do not have sweat glands and do not pant very well. If presented with the option, their natural tendency is to seek out water to wet their skin by wallowing. The evaporation of water from their skin lowers body temperatures.
Orego-Stim is a phytogenic feed additive containing natural oregano essential oil, extracted from a specific chemotype of Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum. Meriden Animal Health exclusively uses the availability of this pure oregano oil for manufacture of the product.
A trial was recently conducted in a select farm of 5,000 sows in Huesca, in the Aragon region, northeast of Spain to verify the ability of Orego-Stim to control heat stress in reproductive sows during a period of hot weather.
Based on results of the trial, the average weekly fertility rate in the Orego-Stim group is slightly higher than that in the control group. Orego-Stim improved the weaning-to-oestrus interval and the weaning-to-service. Piglets born from Orego-Stim supplemented sows also have a lower mortality rate and they are also heavier at weaning.
A separate study was designed to investigate the effect of Orego-Stim on sows and their piglets' performance and as a growth enhancing and alternative antibacterial in sows and their piglets' feed. The trial was conducted in a well-managed commercial farm during a heat stress period.
Results from this study proved that Orego-Stim stimulated a higher feed intake in lactating sows during periods of heat stress. Such an increase in feed intake translated to a significant increase in milk yield and milk quality which can be significantly measured by an increase in pre-weaning weight gain, greater total weight of piglets weaned per litter and a higher average bodyweight of piglets attained at weaning.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Meriden Animal Health.