A healthy sounder can quickly be done under by one sick animal. All it takes is for contagious pathogens to enter your farm (through feed, farm conditions, or other animals) and the health of your pigs can rapidly decline.
This is all too real for Irish pork producers who have been on watch for any signs of the new strain of African Swine Flu (ASF) among their animals, that is likely creeping through the countryside undetected, or any other common microscopic terrors to swine population. Since it’s impossible to prevent every possible exposure, it’s important to give pigs what they need to fight back: starting with their diet.
Feeding pigs with the right nutritious ingredients and supplements can boost their health, performance and profitability. As both folk practices and science suggest, seaweed like Ascophyllum nodosum can help pigs to boost their immune system. Here’s how Titan® for Animals can empower producers to take their swine health management to the next level.
Boosting GI Health
Lactating sows and farrowing piglets are at a higher health risk without the right nourishment. Feeding a hungry litter is exhausting for the mother and making it through their first days in the world is tough on the piglets themselves. For either, low weight and undernourishment can be a death sentence when harmful pathogens enter the farm.
Since piglets only receive antibodies from the colostrum, the antibody-rich milk their mothers produce immediately after delivery, it’s important for the sows and the piglets to receive food that can supplement their immune response. That often translates to feeding and cultivating beneficial gut flora in their gastrointestinal system.
When healthy gut microbes receive prebiotics from sources like seaweed, they flourish throughout the GI tract, making it much harder for harmful diseases to establish themselves in the digestive system. When this happens, farrowing sows and piglets, receiving the right amounts of prebiotics don’t expend as much energy to fight off disease.
Providing Anti-inflammatory Benefits
Inflammation is part of the way that pigs’ (as well as humans’) immune systems deal with infection. Yet prolonged inflammation can cause damage to cells and stress an already exhausted body. When pigs are provided with foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, they are better at bouncing back from disease.
Brown seaweed like Ascophyllum nodosum has plenty of documented anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which stem from polysaccharides like fucoidan and laminarin. Reduced inflammation prevents a variety of ailments and comorbidities, boosting the pigs’ resilience against disease.
The Impact on Overall Pig Health
What about pigs later in life? In a two week study, post-weaning pigs were fed a diet supplemented with a 300 mg/kg brown seaweed extract to measure the impact on their overall health and production. Since this extract was rich in prebiotics and laminarin, the pigs were shown to have a higher feed intake, body weight and growth weight as well as higher incidences of diverse beneficial microbes.
With all of these benefits, pigs were able to ward off harmful microbes at higher rates while making it to market with increased size and quality of meat. Good for the animals and great for pork producers.
Want to incorporate Titan® for Animals products into your swine health management regimen? Reach out to our local experts to explore your options.