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Animal Science

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Translational Animal Science





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The objective of this experiment was to compare the effects of spray-dried plasma protein (SDPP) and dried egg protein (DEP), without (AB−) or with (AB+) in-feed antibiotics, on growth performance and markers of intestinal health in nursery pigs raised in commercial conditions. This 42-d experiment utilized 1,230 pigs (4.93 ± 0.04 kg body weight; approximately 15–18 d of age). Pigs were randomly assigned to one of six dietary treatments that were arranged as a 2 × 3 factorial of in-feed antibiotics (AB− vs. AB+) and a specialty protein additive (none [CON], porcine SDPP, or DEP). Diets were fed in four phases with phases 3 and 4 as a common diet across all treatments. Specialty protein additives were fed in phases 1 (0–13 d; 3% SDPP, and 0.20% DEP) and 2 (13–26 d; 2% SDPP, and 0.10% DEP). Antibiotics were fed in phases 1–3 (662 mg chlortetracycline [CTC]/kg, 28 mg carbadox/kg, and 441 mg CTC/kg, respectively). Ileal tissue and blood samples were collected from 48 pigs (8 per treatment) on d 20. Data were analyzed using PROC MIXED of SAS (9.4) with pen as the experimental unit; protein additives, antibiotics, and their interaction were fixed effects and block was a random effect. The pigs experienced naturally occurring health challenges in weeks 2 and 4. In the AB− diets, SDPP and DEP increased average daily gain (ADG; P = 0.036) and average daily feed intake (ADFI; P = 0.040) compared to CON; in the AB+ diets, neither SDPP nor DEP increased ADG or ADFI compared to CON but SDPP did increase these parameters over DEP. The SDPP and DEP diets decreased the number of individual medical treatments compared to CON (P = 0.001). The AB+ increased ileal mucosal interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist (P = 0.017). Feeding DEP reduced the concentration of mucosal IL-1β compared to CON, but not SDPP (P = 0.022). There was a trend for SDPP and DEP to increase villus height:crypt depth compared to CON (P = 0.066). Neither antibiotics or protein additive affected serum malondialdehyde concentration or ileal mRNA abundance of claudin-3 or 4, occludin, or zonula occludens-1 (P > 0.10). In conclusion, SDPP and DEP improved growth performance of weaned pigs in the absence of antibiotics but neither improved growth compared to CON when feeding standard antibiotic levels. The specialty proteins had a positive effect on health; specialty proteins and antibiotics were able to modulate some markers of intestinal inflammation and morphology.


This article is published as Ruckman, Leigh A., Amy L. Petry, Stacie A. Gould, and John F. Patience. "The impact of porcine spray-dried plasma protein and dried egg protein harvested from hyper-immunized hens, provided in the presence or absence of subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics in the feed, on growth and indicators of intestinal function and physiology of nursery pigs." Translational Animal Science 4, no. 3 (2020): txaa095. doi:10.1093/tas/txaa095.

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