A novel rapid ex vivo assay was developed as part of a concept to determine potential tailor-made combinations of pre- and probiotics for individual farms. Sow faecal slurries from 20 German pig farms were anaerobically incubated with pre- and probiotics or their combinations together with pathogenic strains that are of interest in pig production. Aliquots of these slurries were then incubated with media containing antibiotic mixtures allowing only growth of the specific pathogen. Growth was monitored and lag time was used to determine the residual fitness of the pathogenic strains. The background growth could be inhibited for an Escherichia coli- and a Clostridium difficile- but not for a Clostridium perfringens strain. The prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and its combination with probiotics reduced the residual fitness of the E. coli strain in some farms. However, notable exceptions occurred in other farms where FOS increased the fitness of the E. coli strain. Generally, combinations of pre- and probiotics did not show additive effects on fitness for E. coli but displayed farm dependent differences. The effects of pre- and probiotics on the residual fitness of the C. difficile strain were less pronounced, but distinct differences between single application of prebiotics and their combination with probiotics were observed. It was concluded that the initial composition of the microbiota in the samples was more determinative for incubations with the C. difficile strain than for incubations with the E. coli strain, as the presumed fermentation of prebiotic products showed less influence on the fitness of the C. difficile strain. Farm dependent differences were pronounced for both pathogenic strains and therefore, this novel screening method offers a promising approach for pre-selecting pre- and probiotics for individual farms. However, evaluation of farm metadata (husbandry, feed, management) will be crucial in future studies to determine a tailor-made solution for combinations of pre- and probiotics for individual farms. Also, refinement of the ex vivo assay in terms of on-farm processing of samples and validation of unambiguous growth for pathogenic strains from individual farms should be addressed.