The Effect of Feeding Probiotics against Antibiotics on the Performance of Piglets during the Suckling Period and up to Weaning

National Agricultural Research Foundation, (N.Ag.Re.F.), Agricultural Research Station of Komotini


KIPRIOTIS, E. A. and K. V. KOUSENIDIS, 2005. The effect of feeding probiotics against antibiotics on the performance of piglets during the suckling period and up to weaning. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 11: 243-248

The effect of probiotics and antibiotics given orally to piglets, 24 hours after birth was studied during the suckling period and up to weaning, by recording liveweight gain, scour symptoms and viability. Piglets treated with probiotics were given orally a liquid culture of enterococcus faecium, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus casei and lactobacillus plantarum. The treated with antibiotics ones were given likewise a spectinomycin dihydrochloride pantahydrate solution. The so treated piglets were compared between them and against a control group, which was treated by the same way with physiological serum. Live weight gain in treatments, probiotic and antibiotic (5.992 and 5.839 grams respectively), was higher against the control (5.798 grams), (P > 0.05), but there was not observed significant difference between the two treatments. The scour symptoms, recorded as days of incidence, in both groups of the treated piglets appeared to be lower (81 and 71 days respectively) against the control (84 days), with the lowest value given by the antibiotic treatment, the difference being significant against the other two groups. Mortality among the probiotic and antibiotic treated piglets was significantly lower (5.66% and 3.77% respectively) compared to that of the control group (16.98%), and again no significant differences had been observed between the treated piglets. In general both, probiotic and antibiotic treatment of piglets right after birth, seems to be beneficial on their performance, leaving to the probiotic use the advantage of the more biological and non producing resistant pathogen strains treatment.

Key words: probiotics, antibiotics, piglet feeding, growth promoters, gut infection inhibitors