Botanicals for Pigs—Echinacea
Botanicals have been proposed as a substitute for antimicrobials in swine diets because of their natural antibacterial activity. Echinacea, a botanical that grows in Iowa, was compared with a standard antibacterial nursery dietary regimen. At the tested inclusion levels (0.1, 0.5 and 2.0%) no statistical advantage existed when compared with a positive control diet with 50 g/ton Mecadox or with a negative control containing no antibacterial inclusions. Echinacea-treated pigs exhibited a slight, but not objectionable, off-flavor compared with noninclusion levels. Higher levels of Echinacea inclusions may be required to enhance growth rate and feed efficiency swine production.