Farmscape for April 26, 2022
Research conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc indicates the naturally occurring bacteria in the gut of the pig play a role in health and productivity.
The Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Guelph in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, Calpis, Cargill, Phileo, and Evonik are investigating the gut microbiome of the pig to identify beneficial and detrimental bacteria.
Dr. Bonita McCuaig, a postdoctoral research fellow with University of Saskatchewan, explains the gut microbiome has been linked to animal health and performance.
Clip-Dr. Bonita McCuaig-University of Saskatchewan:
The gut microbiome has been identified as a potential way to improve feed efficiency.
We are still making progress by genetic selection on the pigs themselves and creating more nutritious feeds and that sort of thing but the microbiome is an area that selection hasn't been really focussed on yet.
It has potential to improve feed efficiency and piglet health if we understand it and there is some evidence that promoting a healthy microbiome may reduce the need for antibiotics so it's a natural way to prevent postweaning diarrhea for instance.
Overall, the early results suggest that the health outcomes are linked to the microbiome in young piglets.
Exactly how, we haven't got that far yet.
We've also been testing some established results from the literature and overall, our results are lining up with previous research and it does look like we will be able to identify some bacteria that are beneficial.
Dr. McCuaig says, if we can keep the piglets healthy, they'll grow better, they'll be more efficient and we will use less antibiotics, all of which are major goals of the industry right now.
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