Rearing environment is a key factor in determining pig gut microbiota

Tuesday 01 September 2009
Rearing environment is a key factor in determining pig gut microbiota

PIGLETS born and reared indoors have higher populations of lactobacilli than those born outdoors and reared indoors, which may improve gut health.

Rearing environment may affect the gut microbiota – and therefore the health – of pigs. But other factors, such as diet, and age, also play an important role.

So says Lucy Brunton, who led a team of researchers at Leeds University in trials to compare the numbers of four common groups of gut organisms – enterococci, Bacteroides spp, lactobacilli and coliforms – in faecal samples taken from pigs reared either indoors or outdoors.

The results showed that pigs reared exclusively indoors retained higher populations of lactobacilli than pigs reared outdoors. And this may confer a health benefit on indoor reared pigs,” Miss Brunton told delegates at this year’s British Society of Animal Science annual conference.

Other topical, easy to read animal science news published this month on pigs by the British Society of Animal Science:

Pig breeds respond differently to nutrient supply

Different pig breeds respond differently in terms of fat deposition to the levels of nutrients supplied, particularly protein and energy.

Rapid pig growth in the finishing period can increase meat tenderness

Pork tenderness increases when pigs are grown relatively rapidly in the finishing period. But although fast growth will benefit tenderness, it won’t necessarily benefit meat odour or flavour.

Adding glycerol to pig rations can impact on feed intake and FCR – but not meat quality

Adding glycerol to pig rations significantly affected average daily liveweight gain but the effect was not linear.

Grouping pigs according to size at weaning reduces variation in growth rate

Uniform grouping of pigs at weaning lowered the variation in weight between pigs at 11 and 15 weeks of age – and numerically at 20 weeks of age – compared with pigs in mixed weight groups from weaning.

Pork fatty acid profile varies according to pig breed

Terminal sire breed has a significant effect on the fatty acid profile of pork.

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