The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of the supplementation of Achyranthes japonica extract (AJE) on overall performance levels with different nutrition concentrations in the diets of finishing pigs. Here, 140 finishing pigs with initial body weights of 50.18 ± 2.37 kg were used in a ten-week trial involving a 2 × 2 factorial design in two phases with the following factors: diet types with different nutrition concentrations (Positive control [PC] vs. Negative control [NC]) and 0 or 0.05% AJE supplementation to NC and PC diets. The PC diet was a basal diet, whereas the NC diet consisted of a 5% and 7% crude protein (CP) reduced basal diet during phase 1 (1 - 35 days) and phase 2 (36 - 70 days), respectively. A significant effect (p < 0.05) on the gain-to-feed ratio (G : F) was observed with interaction effects between the diets and AJE supplementation. However, during phase 1 and in all periods, the pigs fed the PC and NC diets with average daily feed intake (ADFI) tended to decrease compared to those fed diets with AJE. A significant effect (p = 0.0380) of E. coli was observed in pigs fed the PC and NC diets compared to AJE supplementation in phase 2 of the experiment. The backfat thickness (BFT) tended to decrease and the lean meat percentage (LMP) was significantly improved in phase 2 for pigs fed the PC and NC diets. In summary, BFT and LMP showed beneficial effects and fecal microbiota of E. coli counts were positively affected when pigs were fed diets with different nutrient concentrations.
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