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Animal Health
Monday, September 22, 2003 3:00:00 PM
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Efficacy of Origanum Essential Oils in Sows and Their Piglets Feeds

 

Jowaman Khajarern and Sarote Khajarern

 

Department of Animal Science Faculty of Agriculture

 Khon Kaen University

 Khon Kaen 40002

 Thailand.

 
 
Introduction:

 

Recently in the European Union (EU) most antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) have been banned.  IN the pursuit for safer antimicrobial feed additives, all natural non-pharmaceutical botanical feed additives are being actively researched and products are being developed as alternatives to antibiotics.  Currently botanical feed additives can be grouped by intended function in feed and their main functions cover: Pathogen control or resistance, including antimicrobial and antifungal activity; antioxidant activity, as in control of metabolic auto-oxidation, stress caused by blood borne free radicals; toxin tolerance, including mycotoxin tolerance and hepatic or liver activities; digestion aid, including stimulation of endogenous enzyme activity and nitrogen absorption as well as beneficial physiological and morphological effects; pollution control, including manure odour, ammonia control and nitrogen binding activity.  A significant part of the botanicals antimicrobial research has focussed on phenolic compounds in the extracted "essential oil" of oregano, thyme and rosemary.  Most people associate oregano with its use as a herb or flavouring on pizza, but it is frequently referenced in ancient Egyptian and Greek tests for treating gastrointestinal disorders and retarding food spoilage.  It has been shown that oil of oregano contains two very effective phenols (carvacrol and thymol) work together in synergy for premier natural antiseptic and possesses a wide range of microbial killing powers (Bassett, 2000; Gill 2000 and 2001; Hertampf, 2001).  Many studies of origanum essential oil had shown antibacterial and antifungal properties from this plant (Akgul and Kivanc, 1998; Azzouz and Bullerman, 1982; Kyriakis et al., 1998; Sivropoulou et al., 1996; Tsinas et al 1998).  Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of Orego-Stim® (a commercial product of Meriden Animal Health Ltd., England, containing active phenolic compounds from essential oils of oregano) on sows and their piglet's performance and as growth enhancing and alternative antibacterial in sows and their piglets feeds.

 

Abstract:

 

Twenty four sows at equal their second and third pregnancies were used to investigate the efficacy of origanum essential oils for alternative antibacterial performance promoters in sows and their piglets.  Orego-Stim® (Meriden Animal Health Ltd) was added at 0.025% of gestation and lactation feeds and at 0.050% of creep feeds.  Reproductive performance of sows and growth performance and health of their litters were compared between 12 sows on origanum essential oils and 12 on negative control with no added origanum essential oils. Oregano fed sows gave number of piglets born alive, average  birth weight and total number of piglets at weaning larger (P>0.05) when compared with the negative control group.  Results from this study proved that sows fed with origanum essential oils stimulated feed intake of lactating sows which shows appetite enhancer with better utilization of feed by showing in ability increasing (P<0.05) in milk yields and milk quality which can be measured the faster (P<0.05) preweaning weight gain, greater (P<0.05) total weight of piglets weaned per litter and average body weight of piglets at weaning.  Including Origanum essential oils in creep feeds also showed the responses as in the sow's feeds for alternative antibacterial growth promoters, flavour and appetite enhancers and also assisted in digestion for better nutrient absorption.  Piglets fed with origanum essential oil showed greater (P<0.05) feed intake and higher (P<0.05) daily weight gain, uniformity of body weight at weaning and also higher but non-significant (P>0.05) for survival rate of piglets at weaning when compared with the negative control piglets group.

 

Materials and Methods

 

Animals and Treatments

 

The trial was conducted in a well managed commercial farm (M.W. Farm) in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand.  24 crossbred sows (Yorkshire and Landrace) were equally divided into two treatments.  In each treatment, 6 sows were at their second parity and 6 at their third parity. The two treatments were: T1= negative control and T2 = in-feed application of 0.025% Orego-Stim® in sow feeds and 0.050% in creep feed.

 

Diets and Feeding

  

Orego-Stim® was applied to sow feeds at 0.025% and creep feed at 0.050%. The composition and analysis of experimental diets are given in table 1. The diets were fed in mash form. Water was allowed ad libitum.  Litter size, litter weight and number of piglets born alive and at weaning were recorded. Mortality and feed intake for the entire period was also recorded. The piglets from each sow were weaning at 21 days of age.  Weaned piglets uniformity of body weight was accounted for as percentage units that fall into two times of standard deviation based on average weaning weight.

 

Animal Management

  

All sows were housed in individual cages. Origanum essential oils were supplemented into the gestation feed at the day 84 day gestation period and entire lactation and suckling periods.  All sows and piglets were subjected to the usual vaccination program, antiparasitic treatment, iron injection and tail docking of the piglets. Individual animal treatment was done if a disease or injury developed during the trial by the veterinary surgeon in charge of the farm animal health.

 

Statistical Analysis

  

The data was subjected and one way of variance using the GLM procedures of SAS (SAS, 1996).  The sows and piglets in each pen were the experimental units.  Means were compared in all analyses using Duncan's Multiple Range Test (Duncan, 1955).  All statements of significance were based on the probability levels of 0.05.

 

Results and discussion

 

Sow Performance

 

The result of sow performance is shown in table 2. The results indicate that sows fed with origanum essential oils in 84 day gestation period and entire lactation period for 21 days reinforced the alternative antibacterial performance promoters of sows and consequently enhanced their reproductive performances and health under practical farming conditions.  Feeding origanum essential oils in sow feeds stimulated appetite and assisted digestion.  Compared to the negative control sow group, it was clear that fed with origanum essential oils were able to increase (P<0.05) total birth weight per litter, total weight of piglets at weaning per litter and average body weight of piglets at weaning.  These results were in agreement with the reports of Gill, 2001 which cited by Rod Bassett based on the UK and Greek researches on the mode of action of carvacrol and thymol which have an effect on the upper layer of mature enterocytes and accelerate the renewal rate of mature enterocytes at the surface of the villi of the intestine.  This would reduce pathogen contamination of enterocytes and improve nutrient absorption capacity.  Results from this study proved that feeding origanum essential oils stimulated feed intake of lactating sows which showing appetite enhancer and then lead to better utilization on feed and showed ability increasing in milk yields and also increasing in quality of milk production and can measured from the preweaning growth rate or piglets weight gain.  Supplementation of origanum essential oils in both gestation (84 day pregnancy) and lactation feeds showed increasing (P<0.05) daily feed intake in lactation sows and increasing milk yields production and also gave a higher in daily weight gain in preweaning piglets.

 

Suckling piglet's performance

  

Supplementation of origanum essential oils in creep feed, when comparing to the negative control piglets group, showed improvement in the survival rate at weaning.  The average number weaned per litter, total weight at weaning per litter, average daily gain of preweaning, feed intake per piglets and uniformity of body weight of piglets at weaning were increased (P<0.05) with the piglets fed with origanum essential oils in the creep feed.  It was proven that origanum essential oils not only act as alternative antibacterial performance promoters, digestion aids and appetite enhancer in sows and piglets, but also as a natural feed additives enhancing growth and reproductive performance in both sows and suckling piglets. The appearance of gestation sows when fed with origanum essential oils at 0.025% in the diet also showed a bigger swollen breasts and teats uniformity before farrowing more than the sows fed with the negative control group with no added origanum essential oils.

 

Acknowledgements

 

The Author would like to thank Meriden Animal Health Ltd, England for their support and cooperation.  We also thank M.W. Farm Development Co. Ltd for providing the animals and facilities for the trial.

 

References

 

Anonymous. 2000. Green ingredients. Pig International April-2000 volume 30 Number 4-11 p. 11-12.

 

Akagul, A and M. Kivanc. 1998. Inhibitory effects of selected Turkish spices and oregano compounds on some food-borne fungi. Intl. J. Food Microbiol. 6: 264-268.

 

Azzouz, M. A. and Buellerman, L. B. 1982. Comparative antimycotic effects of selected herbs, spices, plant compounds and commercial antifungal agents. J. Food Production 45: 1298-1301.

 

Bassett, R. 2000. Traceability important in future of plant extracts. Feed Mix Volume 8 number 6, 2000 p. 30-32.

 

Duncan, D. B. 1955. Multiple ranges and multiple F test. Biometrics 11: 1-42.

 

Gill, C. 2000. Botanical feed additives. Feed International April 2000 p. 14-18.

 

Gill, C. 2001. Safe and sustainable feed ingredients. Feed International, March 2001. p. 40-45.

 

Hertrampf, J. W. 2001. Alternative antibacterial performance promoters. Poultry International, January 2001. P. 50-55.

 

Kamel, C. 2000. The beauty of natural plant extracts. International Pig Topics, Volume 15 Number 4, 2000. p. 13-15.

 

Kyriakis, S. C., et al. 1998. Control of post weaning diarrhoea syndrome of piglets by in feed application of Origanum essential oils. Proc. Of the 15th IPVS Contr., Birmingham.

 

Mellor, S. 2000. Herbs and Spices promote health and growth. Pig Progress, Vol 16. 2000. p. 27-30.

 

SAS. 1996. SAS System for Windows 3.10. Release 6.08. Cary, N. C. 27513-8000, USA.: SAS Institute Inc.

 

Sivropoulou, A., et al. 1996. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of origanum essential oils.  J. Agric. Food Chem. 44: 1202-1205.

 

Tsinas, A. C., et al. 1998. Use or origanum essential oils as growth promoter in pigs. Proc. Of the 15th IPVS Congr., Birmingham.

 

 

         Table 1. Composition of the basal experimental diets.

 

                          Ingredients

              Sow Feed

Creep Feed

    0-21 d

Gestation

Lactation

Broken rice (8% CP)

53.39

52.90

27.20

Rice bran (12.5% CP)

25.00

15.00

3.00

Fish meal (55% CP)

5.50

6.50

8.00

Soybean meal (44% CP)

13.00

16.00

17.00

Full fat soybean (38% CP)

-

5.00

8.00

Skim milk (30% CP)

-

-

12.00

Whey powder (11% CP)

-

-

20.00

Dicalcium phosphate (bone)

1.60

1.60

1.00

Limestone

0.40

0.40

-

DL-Methionine

0.10

0.12

0.12

L-Lysine

0.16

0.18

0.15

Rice bran oil (unrefined)

-

1.50

3.00

Premixesa

0.50

0.50

0.50

Orego-Stim®b

¡À

¡À

¡À

Salt

0.35

0.30

0.03

Calculated analysis:

 

 

 

CP, %

16.14

18.62

23.27

ME, kcal/kg

3,160

3,296

3,430

 

 

 

 

aThe premixes provide the following per kilogram of diet:

Sow feed: A 4,500 IU, D3 450 IU, E 12 IU. B12 80 ug, Pantothenic acid 12mg, Niacin 12 mg, Riboflavin 7.1 mg, Thiamine 2 mg, Choline chloride 2 g, Pyridoxine 1.2 mg, Biotin 0.22 mg, K3 2.6 mg, Folic acid 0.3 mg, Ethoxyquin 12.5 mg, Cu 5 mg, I 0.14 mg, Fe 80 mg, Mn 10 mg, Se 0.15 mg, Zn 50 mg and Co 0.14 mg.

 

Creep feed: A 2,500 IU, D3 250 IU, E 20 IU. B12 20 ug, Pantothenic acid 12mg, Niacin 20 mg, Riboflavin 4 mg, Thiamine 2 mg, Choline chloride 1 g, Pyridoxine 2 mg, Biotin 0.3 mg, K3 0.5 mg, Folic acid 0.3 mg, Ethoxyquin 12.5 mg, Cu 250 mg, I 0.4 mg, Fe 100 mg, Mn 4 mg, Se 0.3 mg, Zn 100 mg and Co 0.14 mg.

 

bOrego-Stim® = Meriden Animal Health, were added 0.025% in sow feeds and 0.050% in creep feed.

*Elby blend LNB Netherlands

 

 Table 2. Efficacy of origanum essential oils on sow at farrowing, weaning and their piglets performance.

 

                                Item

Negative

Control T1

Orego-Stim®

        T2

Pooled SEM

Number of sows

12

12

 

Total no. of piglets born

125

126

 

Av. no. of piglets born per litter

10.42

10.50

1.413

Total no. of piglets born alive

119

121

 

Av. no. of piglets born alive per litter

9.92

10.08

1.125

Total birth weight per litter, kg

15.18b

16.28a

0.967

Av. birth weight of piglets, kg

1.55

1.67

0.210

Total no. of piglets at weaning

114

117

 

Av. no. of piglets weaning per litter

9.50

9.75

0.833

Survival rate of piglets at weaning, %

96.12

97.03

4.603

Total weight of piglets weaned per litter, kg

64.62b

70.59a

3.308

Av. body weight of piglets at weaning, kg

6.84b

7.26a

0.373

Uniformity of body weight of piglets at weaning

87.73b

89.65a

2.112

Total feed intake of piglets per litter, kg

1.54b

1.74a

0.189

Av. feed intake per piglets, g

161b

178a

6.877

Av. daily gain of piglets, g

252b

268a

11.792

Av. feed intake of sow during lactation, kg/d

5.86b

6.33a

0.238

Av. milk yield, l/d*

9.53b

10.44a

0.649

 

 

 

 

a,b Means in the same row bearing different superscript differ (P<0.05).

* Milk yield calculated from average daily gain of piglets x 4 (each gram of gain was assumed to come from the conversion of 4 grams of milk) x no of piglets in each litter = litres of milk yield per day (modified from Peador Lawlor. Pig International, November 2001 Volume 31, Number 10, p. 38).

 

 

Related Article: Oregano Alternative to Assist in Producing Healthy Animals

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