This work studied the effects of the inclusion of Purple Garlic Powder (PGP) and Oregano Essential Oil (OEO) in the feed, at different doses and combinations, on intestinal health and the growth performance of 140 and 3000 piglets, respectively, weaned at 21 days of age. Seven dietary treatments were used: a negative control group (basal diet), a positive control group with ZnO (3000 mg/Kg of feed), two groups with OEO at 0.4% and 1.2% respectively, two groups with PGP at 0.4% and 2% respectively and one group with OEO at 1.2% combined with PGP at 2%. Only the positive control group received ZnO in the diet. Each group of piglets received the treatment for seven weeks, from weaning, and were later sacrificed to obtain jejunum and ileum samples for counting of goblet cells, intraepithelial lymphocytes, and IgA-producing cells. The growth performance were measured at the beginning and at the end of the seven weeks. In jejunum and ileum, the number of goblet cells increased in the groups with ZnO, PGP 2%, OEO 1.2% and PGP 2% + OEO 1.2%, presenting significant differences with the rest of the groups. The results obtained for the intraepithelial lymphocyte count were in line with those obtained for the count of goblet cells. Regarding IgA-producing cells, the groups that showed significantly favourable results in the jejunum and ileum were OEO 1.2%, PGP 2% and their combination, but the groups that showed the most similar means to ZnO were the OEO 0.4% and the PGP 0.4%. Regarding the growth performance, PGP 2%, OEO 1.2% and their combination had similar results to ZnO. The intestinal health of piglets could be improved, without harming the growth performance, by means of the supplementation of PGP 2%, OEO 1.2% and PGP 2% + OEO 1.2% offering a natural alternative to the use of ZnO.
- Growth Performance
- Intestinal health