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The difference in development between the experimental groups is clearly visible on day 19; left photo: PC positive control with Virginiamycin; right photo: negative control with wood lignans


absorption. The lymphocyte count was reduced in the experi- mental groups, indicating a reduced need for immune de- fence and thus a healthier gut flora. This thesis is also support- ed by measurable changes in the intestinal flora: the incidence of pathogens (E. coli and Clostridium) in faeces was reduced, while the growth of desirable lactobacilli was promoted (sam- pling on day 21). See the trial design and results in Table 1. A closer look at the performance data shows a clear growth advantage for broilers supplemented with wood lignans compared to the positive control with Virginiamycin, espe- cially from day 9 to day 22 (PC 660 g body weight vs. NC + wood lignans 1003 g body weight); afterwards the difference remained constant until the end of the fattening period on day 42 (Figure 1).


Wood lignans for piglets The weaning phase for piglets is also a challenge for the GI tract. In this case, too, the positive effect of wood lignans has been shown. In a feeding trial with weaning pigs (FI – Ger- man Large White, German Landrace, Piétrain) the trial group received 500 g per ton of the wood lignan product (agromed ROI) with the prestarter and starter diet. See the trial design and results in Table 2. The animals in the trial group had bet- ter growth and feed conversion throughout the entire experi- mental period. This effect is due to stable gut health during the physiologically challenging weaning period.


This article presents trial results for broilers and weaning pigs in which wood lignans are shown to have positive effects on performance. The broiler trial also shows the benefits for in- testinal health and can even demonstrate advantages over AGPs. Wood lignans offer a natural alternative to AGPs, as they are able to improve pathogen counts, strenghten the immune response and gut structure while delivering positive results in terms of performance.


Table 2 – Feeding trial with weaning pigs, nega- tive control (NC), trial group supplemented with a wood lignan product (agromed® ROI, 500 g per ton) .


Number of animals Weaning age (d)


Weaning weight (kg)


Weaning phase d 28-42 Daily weight gain (g) FCR


Starter phase d 42-71


Daily weight gain (g) FCR


Total trial period d 28-71 Daily weight gain (g) End weight (kg) FCR


NC 47 28


8.27 136 2.07 619 1.52 462 28.1 1.57


▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 28, No. 8, 2020


NC + wood lignans 47 28


8.27 165 1.90 680 1.45 513 30.3 1.49


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