A University of Minnesota study evaluating the use of Regano in sow diets found that the dietary product improved sow reproductive performance, pig growth rates and carcass value.

Regano is Ralco Animal Health’s branded product containing Regano essential oil that supports gut health in sows for improved reproductive performance and better litter health.

In the study, 74 sows were fed Regano in gestation and lactation diets and 76 sows received a control diet. Sow reproductive performance was monitored and offspring performance was followed from birth to market.

Feeding Regano to sows in gestation and lactation:

• Increased number born alive by 1.1-plus piglets.

• Improved colostrum quality by increasing antibodies in colostrum.

• Improved sow productivity index and breeding value.

• Provided a $57.30 advantage over control sows.

Piglets (pre-wean) from Regano-fed sows:

• Grew faster than piglets from control sows (+30 g/day) and were more robust.

• Had increased serum antibody levels immediately after suckling.

Pigs (wean-to-finish barn) from Regano-fed sows:

• Grew faster and averaged 12 lb. higher market weight compared to pigs from control sows.

• Hold better carcass value, including increased weight, loin depth, lean percent and carcass premium score (grade).

• Had a $3.20 advantage in premiums over pigs from the control group.

The study was performed by Claudia Ariza-Nieto for her PhD at the University of Minnesota.

Marnie Mellencamp of Ralco Animal Health emphasizes that while the company sponsored this study, it was conducted independently by the University of Minnesota.

“These data and other company data affirm that Regano is a new tool that is available to solve production issues related to gut health,” she says.

The Minnesota study shows that even when used in high-health herds, there are advantages to using Regano in terms of better reproduction and breeding values.

She says Ralco is currently working on a sow research project with Iowa State University to look at the impact of Regano on Clostridium perfringens in piglets in an attempt to reduce the number of infectious organisms in offspring and thus reduce the incidence of scours.