EFFECTS OF GARLIC (Allium sativum) AND PROBIOTICS (Lactobacillus acidophilus) ADDITIVES IN THE DIETS OF GROWER PIGS.
This study which lasted for 12 weeks investigated the effects of garlic and probiotics additives in the diets of grower pigs. A total of sixteen 16 weeks old grower pigs were randomly assigned to four treatments. Each treatment had 2 replicates of 2 pigs per replicate that were housed in a previously cleaned and disinfected pen measuring 3.2m x2.7m with concrete floor, feeding trough and water drinker. Four treatment diets (T1, T2, T3, and T4) were used in a 2×2 factorial arrangement in a Completely Randomized Design. T1 contained 0g garlic and 0g probiotics in a 50kg basal diet. T2 contained 50g of probiotics in a 50kg basal diet. T3 had 50g of garlic in a 50kg basal diet while T4 had 50g of garlic and 50g of probiotics in a 50kg basal diet. Pigs were fed 4% of their average body weight per pen and water was provided ad libitum, while other management principles were observed. The initial body weight (1BWkg), height at withers (HWcm), chest girth (CGcm), body flank (BFcm) and body length (BLcm) were measured and recorded at the beginning of the experiment and subsequently measured bi-weekly till the end of the experiment. At the end of the experiment, 2 pigs were randomly selected from each treatment for carcass, serum and hematological investigation. Blood samples were collected through the retro-bulbar plexus of the medial canthus of the eye of the pigs using syringes and needles and placed in micro tubes with Ethylene diamine tetracetic acid (EDTA) as anti-coagulant. The economic implication of the study was also calculated. Data obtained were subjected to a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using SPSS. Significantly different means were separated using Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test. Results obtained indicated that there were statistical differences (P<0.05) in the performance characteristic, linear body measurements, and carcass and organ characteristics. Result on serum biochemistry showed no significant differences (P>0.05) in ALT, AST, TCRE, and Urea among the treatment groups while there were significant differences (P<0.05) in ALP and BIL in T1 but similar in T2, T3 and T4 (P>0.05). Result on serum cholesterol showed significant differences (P<0.05) in HDL which was similar in T1, T3 and T4. TRIG and VLDL values were also significantly difference (P<0.05) with T1 and T3 being similar but higher than values for T2 and T4 which are themselves similar (P>0.05). LDL values were similar (P>0.05) in T1, T3 and T4 but higher (P<0.05) than T2. Feed cost per kg gain was highly significant (P<0.05) in T1 (220.22±17.61), but similar (P>0.05) in T2 (159.52±10.19), T3 (167.93±13.31) and T4 (151.10±10.94). There were significant differences (P<0.05) in the total white blood cell TWBC with T2 (16.33±1.83), and T3 (16.35±0.45) having comparable means values, while still being highest and lowest in T4 (20.20±0.15) and T1 (12.43±1.63) respectively. However, there were non significant differences (P<0.05) observed in the packed cell volume PCV, red blood count RBC and hemoglobin concentration HbC. It is concluded that feeding garlic or probiotics to growing pigs results in better performance, serum chemistry and economics of production.