This study which lasted for 12 weeks investigated the effects of garlic and probiotics additives in the diets of grower pigs. A total of sixteen 16 weeks old grower pigs were randomly assigned to four treatments. Each treatment had 2 replicates of 2 pigs per replicate that were housed in a previously cleaned and disinfected pen measuring 3.2m x2.7m with concrete floor, feeding trough and water drinker. Four treatment diets (T1, T2, T3, and T4) were used in a 2x2 factorial arrangement in a Completely Randomized Design. T1 contained 0g garlic and 0g probiotics in a 50kg basal diet. T2 contained 50g of probiotics in a 50kg basal diet. T3 had 50g of garlic in a 50kg basal diet while T4 had 50g of garlic and 50g of probiotics in a 50kg basal diet. Pigs were fed 4% of their average body weight per pen and water was provided ad libitum, while other management principles were observed. The initial body weight (1BWkg), height at withers (HWcm), chest girth (CGcm), body flank (BFcm) and body length (BLcm) were measured and recorded at the beginning of the experiment and subsequently measured bi-weekly till the end of the experiment. At the end of the experiment, 2 pigs were randomly selected from each treatment for carcass, serum and hematological investigation. Blood samples were collected through the retro-bulbar plexus of the medial canthus of the eye of the pigs using syringes and needles and placed in micro tubes with Ethylene diamine tetracetic acid (EDTA) as anti-coagulant. The economic implication of the study was also calculated. Data obtained were subjected to a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using SPSS. Significantly different means were separated using Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test. Results obtained indicated that there were statistical differences (P<0.05) in the performance characteristic, linear body measurements, and carcass and organ characteristics. Result on serum biochemistry showed no significant differences (P>0.05) in ALT, AST, TCRE, and Urea among the treatment groups while there were significant differences (P<0.05) in ALP and BIL in T1 but similar in T2, T3 and T4 (P>0.05).
Result on serum cholesterol showed significant differences (P<0.05) in HDL which was similar in T1, T3 and T4. TRIG and VLDL values were also significantly difference (P<0.05) with T1 and T3 being similar but higher than values for T2 and T4 which are themselves similar (P>0.05). LDL values were similar (P>0.05) in T1, T3 and T4 but higher (P<0.05) than T2. Feed cost per kg gain was highly significant (P<0.05) in T1 (220.22±17.61), but similar (P>0.05) in T2 (159.52±10.19), T3 (167.93±13.31) and T4 (151.10±10.94). There were significant differences (P<0.05) in the total white blood cell TWBC with T2 (16.33±1.83), and T3 (16.35±0.45) having comparable means values, while still being highest and lowest in T4 (20.20±0.15) and T1 (12.43±1.63) respectively. However, there were non significant differences (P<0.05) observed in the packed cell volume PCV, red blood count RBC and hemoglobin concentration HbC.

It is concluded that feeding garlic or probiotics to growing pigs results in better performance, serum chemistry and economics of production.

1.0      GENERAL
In developing economy, like Nigeria, emphases are placed more on quality, wholesome as well as affordable animal protein for the growing population. The per capita intake of protein, that of animal protein in particular, of the growing population of Nigeria remains very low. This situation is worsening, because other sources of cheap animal protein such as wild animals and other microlivestock such as snails, rats, and grass cutter, etc. are being depleted as a result of deforestation, bush fires, and indiscriminate and uncontrolled hunting (Abeke et al., 2009).

In Nigeria as in most developing countries, it has been realized that the development of pig industry is one of the fastest means of bridging the prevailing protein deficiency gap which has developed over the years due to the increasing population. This is undermined by the inadequate supply of their products due, largely, to high cost and inadequate feeding and nutrition, poor breeding stock, and poor management practices involving; proper housing, disease prevention and control.

Aduku (1992) opined that 70 – 90 percent (%) of the cost of production of eggs, chickens, pork, and rabbits have been attributed to feed input. However, the availability of cheap and balanced feed is a key to abundant animal protein production. This is because, feed indicates how many animals a farmer can grow and how fast they can mature for the market.

Pigs, like other non- ruminants compete with man for feed. This is because both categories of consumers depend on the same source for food which supplies are already inadequate. Therefore, in an effort to increase animal protein source, pig production should be encouraged so as to make available pork and bacon to Nigerian meat consumers. This is because according to Serres (1992), pigs are known to be highly prolific and very efficient in converting feed materials into high quality animal protein.

Recent concerns regarding the use of antibiotics as growth stimulating agent in animal production and their residual effects on the part of the consumers has demanded for alternative strategies to improve animal production and health without need for antibiotics. Studies, in recent years, have shown that lactic acid bacteria including Bacillus spp. are widely used as probiotics in humans, and their use has reportedly led to health benefits against gastrointestinal disorder; including diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose intolerance, and infections (Madson, 2001). Although various Bacillus spp. are widely used as probiotics for human and animals, their mechanism of action is not yet fully understood (Hong et al., 2005).

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO, 2005) defined probiotics as a live microorganism administered in adequate amount which confers a beneficial health effect on the host. Ezema (2007) defined probiotics as life culture of microbes often lactic acid bacteria but also other species such as saccharomyces which are fed to animals to improve their health and growth by altering intestinal microbial balance.

Also, searching for hypolipidemic agent in predominantly vegetation human diet has yielded considerable information concerning the effects of plant materials on cholesterol metabolism in animal models. Garlic (Allium sativum), which has been used as spice and folk medicine since antiquity, has been considered to be beneficial to animal health as the allicin, the bioactive substance of garlic has antibacterial, anti parasitic and antifungal activities. The magnitude of this action varies from 14% lowering of serum...

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