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Antibiotics Improve Nursery Pig Performance and Profit

by 5m Editor
1 February 2011, at 12:00am

Adding antibiotics to the nursery diet improved pig performance and economic return, according to research presented at last year's Kansas Swine Day.


The results of a study comparing the effects of Denagard (Novartis), Denagard/CTC and Pulmotil (Elanco) on nursery pig growth performance and economic return were presented by K.M. Sotak of Kansas State University and co-authors from the same university, Novartis Animal Health and Suidae Health and Production at the 2010 Kansas Swine Day. Adding antibiotics to the diets increased the feed cost but improved pig performance and the economic return, they concluded.

A total of 880 weanling pigs (initially 15.6 lb and 16 to 20 days of age) were used in a 41-day experiment to compare the effects of different antibiotic regimens on growth performance and economic return in the nursery phase.

Pigs were allotted to one of five treatment groups based on weight within gender. The antibiotic regimens included:

  • control diets containing no antibiotic throughout the trial
  • a combination of Denagard (Novartis Animal Health, Greensboro, NC) at 35g per ton and chlortetracycline at 400g per ton (Denagard/CTC) for the entire 41-day trial
  • a Pulmotil (Elanco, Greenfield, IN) regimen of 363g per ton from days 0 to 10 followed by 181g per day from days 10 to 41,
  • Denagard 200 from days 0 to 10 followed by Denagard/CTC from days 10 to 41, and
  • Denagard/CTC from days 0 to 10, Denagard 200 from days 10 to 20, and Denagard/CTC from days 20 to 41.

From days 0 to 10, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed:gain ratio (F/G) were similar (P>0.40) for the pigs fed non-medicated diets and the mean of the groups fed diets containing antibiotics.

However, from days 10 to 20, 20 to 41, and for the overall trial, pigs fed diets containing antibiotics had greater (P<0.05) ADG and improved (P<0.04) F/G than pigs fed the control diet without antibiotics.

Pigs fed diets containing Denagard/CTC had greater (P<0.02) ADG and ADFI than pigs fed Pulmotil for days 0 to 10, 20 to 41 and the overall trial.

No differences were found (P>0.18) between pigs fed Denagard/CTC and Denagard 200 during any phase.

Final pig weights were greater for pigs fed diets containing antibiotics compared with the control (P<0.01) and for pigs fed Denagard/CTC compared with pigs fed Pulmotil (P<0.05).

Adding antibiotics to the diets significantly increased (P<0.01) feed cost per pig; however, income over feed cost (IOFC) also increased for pigs fed Denagard/CTC compared with the control (P<0.01) and compared with pigs fed Pulmotil (P<0.01).

Sotak and co-authors say their results demonstrate that adding antibiotics to the nursery diet improved pig performance and economic return.

Reference

Sotak K.M., M.D. Tokach, M. Hammer, J.Y. Jacela, S.S. Dritz, D. Mechler, R.D. Goodband, J.M. DeRouchey and J.L. Nelssen. 2010. A comparison of Denagard, Denagard/CTC and Pulmotil on nursery pig growth performance and economic return. Proceedings of Kansas Swine Day 2010, Kansas State University, p72-78.

Further Reading

- You can view the full paper by clicking here.


Further Reading

- You can view other papers from Kansas Swine Day 2010 by clicking here.


February 2011