Effect of probiotics and xylo-oligosaccharide supplementation on nutrient digestibility, intestinal health and noxious gas emission in weanling pigs

  • Liu, JB (School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Cao, SC (School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Liu, J (School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Xie, YN (School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Zhang, HF (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Received : 2017.12.14
  • Accepted : 2018.03.13
  • Published : 2018.10.01


Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of probiotics (Bacillus subtilis and Enterococcus faecium) and xylo-oligosaccharide (XOS) supplementation on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, serum profiles, intestinal health, fecal microbiota and noxious gas emission in weanling pigs. Methods: A total of 240 weanling pigs ([Yorkshire${\times}$Landrace]${\times}$Duroc) with an average body weight (BW) of $6.3{\pm}0.15kg$ were used in this 28-day trial. Pigs were randomly allocated in 1 of the following 4 dietary treatments in a $2{\times}2$ factorial arrangement with 2 levels of probiotics (0 and 500 mg/kg probiotics) and XOS (0 and 200 mg/kg XOS) based on the BW and sex. Results: Administration of probiotics or XOS improved average daily gain (p<0.05) during 0 to 14 d and the overall period, while pigs that were treated with XOS had a greater average daily gain and feed efficiency (p<0.05) compared with unsupplemented treatments throughout 15 to 28 d and the whole experiment. Either probiotics or XOS treatments increased the apparent total tract digestibility of nutrients (p<0.05) during 0 to 14 d. No effects on serum profiles were observed among treatments. The XOS increased villus height: crypt depth ratio in jejunum (p<0.05). The supplementation of probiotics (500 mg/kg) or XOS (200 mg/kg) alone improved the apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter, nitrogen and gross energy on d 14, the activity of trypsin and decreased fecal NH3 concentration (p<0.05). Administration of XOS decreased fecal Escherichia coli counts (p<0.05), while increased lactobacilli (p<0.05) on d 14. There was no interaction between dietary supplementation of probiotics and XOS. Conclusion: Inclusion of XOS at 200 mg/kg or probiotics (Bacillus subtilis and Enterococcus faecium) at 500 mg/kg in diets containing no antibiotics significantly improved the growth performance of weanling pigs. Once XOS is supplemented, further providing of probiotics is not needed since it exerts little additional effects.


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