Health Feature on Forcix SW in Pork Journal Vol 42 Issue 5
By Dr David Isaac, BEC Animal Health, Innovation and Research Manager
At birth, piglets are born with a sterile gut. Soon after, a diverse microbial community originating from the sow and its environment populates the gut. As such, the environment where the piglet is born into plays a key role in the determination of the types of microbes that the piglet is exposed to.
Pig farmers go to great lengths to ensure that the farrowing pens are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to the transfer of the sows. This process reduces the number of microbes in the pens but some microbes are hardy and are not killed by disinfectants. One such organism is coccidia, where the oocysts are very resistant against dehydration and disinfectants.
Additionally, the microbial load in the farrowing pens can be reduced by improving the sow’s intestinal health. Nutritional management tools such as increasing the functional fibre content in pre-farrowing sows can be used to improve hind gut health. Essential oils and plant extracts can also be used to improve the microbiota of sows and therefore reduce the environmental contamination of farrowing shed.
Parasites such as coccidia have been shown to affect the integrity of the piglets’ intestinal mucosa, leading to incidence of dysbiosis at day 10 to 15 of age. The affected piglets have poor growth rate due to malabsorption and increased susceptibility to other disease challenges.
Forcix SW is a combination of several natural essential oils and plant extracts selected with the phytogramme® process and field-tested. Distributed to the sow at pre- farrowing, FORCIX SW helps in management of the impact of protozoa (Eimeriidae family, type Eimeria and Cytoisospora) and promotes growth in young piglets.
An Australian field trial was conducted in a commercial piggery in Queensland. This farm had a history of dysbiosis and diarrhoea in piglets and treated all piglets with Toltrazuril at day 3 of age. 106 multiparous sows were involved in this trial over 7 successive weeks during the summer period.
The trial had 2 groups:
Group #1 (T1) = Positive Control group (Standard farm practices -Toltrazuril treatment on piglets on D3)
Group #2 (T2) = Experimental group (FORCIX SW supplementation to sows*; No Toltrazuril treatment on piglets).
*- FORCIX SW is applied as a single application of 20ml in the sow feed, 5 to 6 days before farrowing
The sow and piglet performance were monitored throughout the trial period and piglet diarrhoea scoring were done on days 3, 8 and 15 of age based on the Pedersen et al (2011) method.
Analysis of data collected showed that individual Average Daily Gain (ADG) of piglets during lactation were significantly higher in the FORCIX group (+16g/day; P<0.05) compared to the Toltrazuril group. This results in higher piglet weaning weights in the FORCIX group (+336g/piglet at 21-day weaning). The piglets on Forcix SW also had a lower and homogenous diarrhoea scoring at Day 8 when compared to the Toltrazuril group.
This trial shows that FORCIX SW could be used as a tool to:
– prevent piglets from severe intestinal dysbiosis around 10 days of age, and
– significantly improve the piglet growth during the lactation period.
Forcix SW has the added advantage of being a natural product that only needs a single application onto the feed of the sow. By reducing the need to pick up individual piglets to apply a coccidiosis prevention product such as toltrazuril, the stress levels of piglets and sows are greatly reduced.
The improvement in animal welfare together with the reduced labour hours makes Forcix SW a viable natural alternative to manage diarrhoea in young piglets.
Forcix SW also has no withholding period or residue.
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VIEW the full article featured in Pork Journal here: Pork Journal Vol 42 Issue 5 (Sept & Oct 2020)