An increased feed intake during early pregnancy improves sow body weight recovery and increases litter size in young sows

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Abstract

This 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 BW recovery, farrowing rate, and litter size during the first month of gestation. From d 3 to d 32 after first insemination, sows were fed either 2.5 kg/d of a standard gestation diet (Control, n = 49), or 3.25 kg/d (+ 30%) of a standard gestation diet (Plus Feed, n = 47), or 2.5 kg/d of a gestation diet with 30% greater level of ileal digestible AA (Plus Protein, n = 49). Feed intake during the experimental period was 29% greater for Plus Feed sows compared with Control and Plus Protein sows (93 vs. 72 kg, P <0.05). Plus feed sows gained 10 kg more BW during the experimental period compared with Control and Plus Protein sows (24.2 ± 1.2 vs. 15.5 ± 1.2 and 16.9 ± 1.2 kg, 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 lesser, though not significantly, for Plus Feed sows compared with Control and Plus Protein sows (76.6% vs. 89.8% and 89.8%, respectively, P = 0.16). Litter size, however, was larger for the Plus Feed sows (15.2 ± 0.5 total born) compared with the Control and Plus Protein sows (13.2 ± 0.4 and 13.6 ± 0.4 total born, respectively, P = 0.006). Piglet birth weight was not different among treatments (P = 0.65). For both first- and second-parity sows, the Plus Feed treatment showed similar effects on BW gain, farrowing rate, and litter size. In conclusion, an increased feed intake (+ 30%) during the first month of gestation improved sow BW recovery and increased litter size but did not significantly affect farrowing rate in the subsequent parity. Feeding a 30% greater level of ileal digestible AA during the same period did not improve sow recovery or reproductive performance in subsequent parity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3542-3550
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume89
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • gonadotropin-releasing-hormone
  • multiparous sows
  • ovarian-function
  • reproductive-performance
  • fetal-development
  • conceptus growth
  • primiparous sows
  • protein loss
  • live weight
  • gilts

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