Effects of essential oil supplementation of a low-energy diet on performance, intestinal morphology and microflora, immune properties and antioxidant activities in weaned pigs

Zhikai Zeng, Xiao Xu, Qiang Zhang, Ping Li, Panfeng Zhao, Qingyun Li, Jundi Liu, Xiangshu Piao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

A total of 144 weaned piglets were used to evaluate the effects of essential oil (EO) supplementation of a low-energy diet on performance, apparent nutrient digestibility, small intestinal morphology, intestinal microflora, immune properties and antioxidant activities in weaned pigs. Pigs received a low-energy diet (negative control, NC, digestible energy=3250kcal/kg), NC plus 0.025% EO or a positive control diet (PC, digestible energy=3400kcal/kg) for 28 days. Growth performance was similar between the EO group and PC group. However, EO supplementation increased (P<0.05) average daily gain and the apparent digestibility of dry matter, crude protein and energy compared with pigs fed the NC diet. Greater (P<0.05) villus height and lower (P<0.05) counts of Escherichia coli and total anaerobes in the rectum in the EO group were observed compared with NC or PC groups. Pigs fed EO diet had higher (P<0.05) concentrations of albumin, immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG and total antioxidant capacity and lower fecal score than pigs fed the PC and NC diets. Above all, this study indicates that supplementation of EO to a low-energy pig diet has beneficial results and obtains similar performance compared with normal energy (PC) diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Science Journal
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Antioxidant activity
  • Essential oils
  • Microflora
  • Performance
  • Pig

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