Effects of acid LAC and Kem-Gest acid blends on growth performance and microbial shedding in weanling pigs1,2

M. C. Walsh, D. M. Sholly, R. B. Hinson, S. A. Trapp, A. L. Sutton, J. S. Radcliffe, J. W. Smith, B. T. Richert

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13 Scopus citations


Weanling pigs with mean initial BW of 6.04 kg (Exp.1) and 5.65 kg (Exp. 2) and mean age at weaning of 18.2 d (Exp. 1) and 17.7 d (Exp. 2) were used in two 5-wk experiments (Exp. 1, n = 180; Exp. 2, n = 300) to evaluate the effects of an organic acid blend (Acid LAC, Kemin Americas Inc., Des Moines, IA) and an inorganic/organic acid blend (Kem-Gest, Kemin Americas Inc.) on weanling pig growth performance and microbial shedding. In Exp. 1, the 5 dietary treatments were 1) negative control, 2) diet 1 + 55 ppm carbadox, 3) diet 1 + 0.4% Acid LAC, 4) diet 1 + 0.2% Kem-Gest, 5) diet 1 + 0.4% Acid LAC and 0.2% Kem-Gest. In Exp. 2, the 6 dietary treatments were diets 1 through 4 corresponding to Exp. 1, plus 5) sequence 1: 0.4% Acid LAC for 7 d followed by 0.2% Kem-Gest for 28 d, and 6) sequence 2: 0.2% Kem-Gest for 7 d followed by 0.4% Acid LAC for 28 d. Pigs were housed at 6 (Exp. 1) or 10 (Exp. 2) pigs/pen. Treatments were fed throughout the experiment in 3 phases: d 0 to 7, d 7 to 21, and d 21 to 35. In Exp. 1, there were no differences (P > 0.05) in ADG, ADFI, or G:F among the dietary treatments at any time during the study. In Exp. 2, throughout the study, pigs fed carbadox (diet 2) and sequence 1 (diet 5) diets had the greatest ADG (d 0 to 35; 262, 294, 257, 257, 292, and 261 g/d, diets 1 through 6, respectively; P < 0.05), greater ADFI than all other acid treat ments (P < 0.05), and tended to have greater ADFI than diet 1 (P < 0.10). Fecal pH, Escherichia coli concentrations, and Salmonella presence were determined at d 6, 20, and 34 for Exp. 1, and on d 32 for Exp. 2. For both experiments, there was no effect of treatment on the presence of fecal Salmonella (P > 0.10) at any sampling time. In Exp. 1, fecal E. coli concentrations for pigs fed the carbadox (P < 0.05) diet were greater than for pigs fed the combination diet with 0.4% Acid LAC and 0.2% Kem-Gest on d 34, and the pigs fed the negative control diet tended (P < 0.10) to have greater fecal E. coli concentrations than those fed the combination diet on d 34. In Exp. 2, fecal pH of pigs fed sequence 1 tended to be greater than fecal pH of pigs fed diet 1, diet 4, or sequence 2 (P < 0.10), but there was no dietary effect on fecal E. coli. In Exp. 1, growth performance of pigs fed the Acid LAC and Kem-Gest diets was similar to each other and to that of the carbadox-fed pigs. Adding the combination of 0.4% Acid LAC and 0.2% Kem-Gest to nursery pig diets reduced ADFI and pig growth rate. In Exp. 2, pigs fed the acid sequence of Acid LAC-Kem-Gest had similar growth performance to pigs fed carbadox, and this novel dietary acid sequence may have merit as a replacement for antibiotics in the nursery phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-467
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Acid
  • Carbadox
  • Escherichia coli
  • Growth
  • Salmonella
  • Weanling pig

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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