ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape
Sponsor message
Now new in the US - Dietary diformates Made in Germany Learn more

Feed Intake During Early Pregnancy: Effects on Sow Body Weight and Litter Size

1 December 2011, at 12:00am

Increasing feed intake by 30 per cent during the first month of gestation improved sow bodyweight recovery and increased litter size but did not significantly affect farrowing rate in the subsequent parity, according to researchers based at Wageningen University. However, feeding 30 per cent more digestible amino acids during the same period did not improve sow recovery or reproductive performance in the subsequent parity.

In a paper published recently in Journal of Animal Science, Lia Hoving of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and co-authors there and at the Institute for Pig Genetics in Beuningen explain that their study evaluated the effect of feeding level and protein content in feed in first- and second-parity sows during the first month of gestation on sow bodyweight recovery, farrowing rate and litter size during the first month of gestation.

From days 3 to 32 after the first insemination, sows were fed either 2.5kg per day of a standard gestation diet (control, n=49), 3.25kg per day (+30 per cent) of a standard gestation diet ('plus feed', n=47), or 2.5kg per day of a gestation diet with 30 per cent greater ileal digestible amino acids ('plus protein', n=49).

Feed intake during the experimental period was 29 per cent greater for sows in the plus feed group compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (93kg versus 72kg; P<0.05).

Sows in the plus feed group gained 10kg more bodyweight during the experimental period compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (24.2 ± 1.2 versus 15.5 ± 1.2 and 16.9 ± 1.2kg, respectively; P<0.001). Backfat gain and loin muscle depth gain were not affected by treatment (P=0.56 and P=0.37, respectively).

Farrowing rate was smaller, although not significantly, for sows in the plus feed group compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (76.6 per cent versus. 89.8 and 89.8 per cent, respectively; P=0.16). Litter size, however, was larger for sows in the plus feed group (15.2 ± 0.5 total born) compared with those in the control and plus protein groups (13.2 ± 0.4 and 13.6 ± 0.4 total born, respectively; P=0.006).

Piglet birth weight was unaffected by treatment (P=0.65).

For both first- and second-parity sows, the plus feed treatment showed similar effects on bodyweight gain, farrowing rate and litter size.

In conclusion, increased feed intake (+30 per cent) during the first month of gestation improved sow bodyweight recovery and increased litter size but did not significantly affect farrowing rate in the subsequent parity. Feeding a 30 per cent greater level of ileal digestible amino acids during the same period did not improve sow recovery or reproductive performance in the subsequent parity.

Reference

Hoving L.L., N.M. Soede, C.M.C. van der Peet-Schwering, E.A.M. Graat, H. Feitsma and B. Kemp. 2011. An increased feed intake during early pregnancy improves sow body weight recovery and increases litter size in young sows. J. Anim. Sci., 89 (11): 3542-3550. doi: 10.2527/jas.2011-3954

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.


December 2011
Sponsored content
Our Formi products fulfil tomorrow’s requirements today.

Formi NDF and the 3rd Generation acidifier Formi 3G have been formulated to replace the need for in-feed antibiotics, by ensuring a strong antibacterial impact against Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria.

The Formi product line, based on Addcon’s patented diformate technology ensures optimal efficiency, highest growth rates and maximum safety, which are key requirements in animal production worldwide – and are now available in the USA.

Learn more