Effect of a probiotic in diets for heat stressed pigs on performance, body temperature and respiratory frequency
The addition of a probiotic to the diet of heat-stressed pigs was evaluated on body temperature, respiratory rate, and productive performance. Eighty pigs of 22 kg BW were assigned to the following treatments: 1) housed in thermoneutral conditions (TN) fed with a conventional diet (TN-C); 2) TN, conventional diet added with probiotic (TN-P); 3) housed under heat stress (HS) conditions, conventional diet (HS-C); 4) HS, diet added with probiotic (HS-P). Twenty pigs were used per treatment. Respiration rate and body temperature were recorded, and productive performance was measured. The body temperature of HS pigs decreased by the addition of the probiotic (P<0.05). Although no differences were observed between treatments (P>0.05), the respiration rate was higher at 1700 h than at 0700 h (P<0.05). The addition of the probiotic increased daily weight gain and feed efficiency (P<0.01). It is concluded that the addition of probiotic to diets for HS pigs improves their weight gain and feed conversion.
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