Authors: GUOGE FAN, JUAN CHANG, QINGQIANG YIN, XIAO WANG, XIAOWEI DANG
Abstract: In order to find alternative feed additives to replace antibiotics for safe animal production, combinations of probiotics, oligosaccharides, and berberine were used in this study. Ninety 60-day-old pigs were assigned to 9 groups, with 10 pigs for each group. Group 1 was the control, group 2 had antibiotics added, and groups 3-9 had different levels of combinations added. The experimental period was 60 days. The results indicated that average daily gain and feed conversion ratio had no significant differences among the 9 groups (P > 0.05); however, the diarrhea rates in the control group and the high probiotic groups with low or high oligosaccharides additions were higher than those in the other groups (P < 0.05). High probiotics with high oligosaccharides addition was the best group for improvement in the apparent nutrient digestibility, followed by the antibiotics and individual high probiotics addition groups, which were better than the other groups (P < 0.05). Addition of berberine could significantly reduce E. Coli counts in pig feces compared with the other groups (P < 0.05), while the fecal counts of lactic acid bacteria in groups given probiotics and oligosaccharides or berberine were higher than in the control group (P < 0.05). The fecal lipase, protease, and amylase activity was also improved by the combination additions (P < 0.05). It was concluded that the combinations of probiotics, oligosaccharides, and berberine had the same effect as antibiotics on reducing diarrhea rates and improving gut microflora for pigs.
Keywords: Probiotics, oligosaccharides, berberine, pig, growth performance
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