ROSSI, Carlos Augusto Rigon and SOARES, Marcelo. Índices produtivos de fêmeas suínas alimentadas com dietas de gestação e lactação suplementadas com óleos essenciais de orégano e alecrim: avaliação de leitegadas. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2013, vol.43, n.11, pp. 2078-2084. ISSN 0103-8478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782013001100025.
Addition of essential oils in the diet of sows increases the number of piglets weaned and litter weight
Researchers from Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, demonstrated that the addition of essential oils in the diet of sows increases the number and weight of piglets weaned. The research was published in Ciência Rural journal, v.43, n.11, of November of 2013.
The researchers evaluated the production rates of 250 sows fed with experimental diets during late pregnancy and early lactation (control diet and 200 ppm of essential oils). The experimental design was a randomized block, in a factorial arrangement with sows and piglets as experimental unit.
No differences were found between treatments in the number of total born, number born alive, average piglet weight at birth, litter weight, average piglet weight at seven days and average piglet weight at weaning. The average weight at weaning and the number of weaned piglets was 8% and 3.8% higher, respectively, for the piglets from sows supplemented with essential oils. Females supplemented with essential oils showed no elevation of temperature and clinical consistent signs with disgalactia. Already the females in the control group showed clinical signs of disgalactia.
In practice, the search results may contribute to the reduction of hypoglycemia and neonatal mortality. For the researcher Carlos Augusto Rossi Rigon, the data also favor the immunostimulatory action of sows due to decrease of deleterious effects of delayed immune response.
The orally use of essential oils in sows during pregnancy and lactation can improve production rates, which would bring economic returns for pig. The oils also help reduce the incidence of disgalactia. However, Carlos says that the study of the therapeutic use of oils in the control of clinical signs of these diseases is incipient and inconclusive.
There are other studies using different plant extracts and a great variety of evaluations of nutritional aspect of swine. However, the results and specific objectives of this research are unprecedented in the field of studies in its area.
Carlos Augusto Rigon Rossi