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Oregano oil may support sow, piglet health

Research demonstrates impact of oregano-based eubiotics on sow and progeny health and performance.

New research presented at the British Society of Animal Science annual conference demonstrated the effect that natural oregano essential oil offers to lactating sows and preweaning and postweaning piglets, according to an announcement from Anpario.

Oregano essential oil is well documented to offer support to animal health and performance as a result of the active compounds within it. Carvacrol and thymol are two such compounds, and these have been shown to demonstrate both antimicrobial and antioxidant functions in the animal, Anpario noted.

Paper co-author Heidi Hall, Anpario swine global technical manager, said, “There is increasing pressure on the pig industry to reduce antimicrobial usage while maximizing animal health and performance. Therefore, identifying sustainable alternatives is of growing interest.”

The study — presented by Dr. Melanie Le Bon, senior lecturer in the school of animal, rural and environmental sciences at Nottingham Trent University — was undertaken on a commercial pig unit in the U.K. and involved 62 multiparous sows. Performance parameters assessed throughout the study included sow feed intake and body condition score, along with piglet weekly weight, mortality, medication usage and creep feed intake, the announcement noted.

The research concluded that the inclusion of oregano essential oil helped maintain the body condition score of lactating sows, improved piglet weight gain throughout the first week of life, reduced piglet preweaning mortality and significantly lowered incidence of medication usage, the company said.

“In order to reduce the reliance upon antimicrobials at weaning such as zinc oxide, pig farmers need to be able to produce more robust piglets. The weaning and nursery period is a critical time for developing and enhancing piglet health to ensure long-term optimal performance,” Hall said.

In Europe, the therapeutic use of zinc oxide in swine diets will be banned beginning in 2022 due to concerns related to environmental effects as well as implications that the practice may result in creating antimicrobial resistance.

TAGS: Swine
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