Effects of additional starch or fat in late-gestating high nonstarch polysaccharide diets on litter performance and glucose tolerance in sows

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The effects of feeding additional starch or fat from d 85 of gestation until parturition on litter performance and on glucose tolerance in sows that were fed a diet with a high level of fermentable nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) were studied. The day after breeding, 141 multiparous sows were assigned to the experiment. At d 85 of gestation, sows were assigned to the treatments. Sows were fed 3.4 kg/d (as-fed basis) of a high-NSP diet or the same quantity of the high-NSP diet and an additional 360 g of starch (from wheat starch) daily, or the same quantity of the high-NSP diet and an additional 164 g of fat (from soybean oil) daily. During lactation, all sows were given free access to the same lactation diet. Approximately 1 wk before the expected time of parturition, an oral glucose tolerance test was performed in 38 randomly chosen sows by feeding pelleted glucose (3 g/kg BW0.75). Blood samples for glucose analyses were taken at -10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 105, and 120 min after glucose was fed. The supply of additional dietary starch or fat did not increase piglet birth weight or total litter weight at birth. Sows that were fed the high-NSP diet had more (P = 0.097) live-born piglets and fewer (P = 0.084) still-born piglets than did sows that were fed additional fat, whereas sows that were fed additional starch were intermediate for these variables. Piglet mortality after birth was not affected by dietary treatment. Body weight and backfat gains in the last month of gestation were higher for sows fed additional. starch or fat than for sows fed the high-NSP diet (P <0.001 and P = 0.017, respectively). Feed intake in lactation was greatest by sows fed the high-NSP diet, least by sows fed additional starch at the end of gestation, and intermediate by sows fed additional fat (P = 0.099). The differences in lactation feed intake did not result in differences in BW and backfat losses during lactation. Sows that were fed additional fat had the greatest glucose area under the curve (P = 0.044), indicating that these sows were less tolerant to glucose. In conclusion, feeding additional energy (starch or fat) in late-gestating sows that are fed a high-NSP diet did not increase litter weight at birth or piglet survival, but did increase maternal gain. Feeding sows additional energy from fat might induce glucose intolerance, whereas feeding sows additional energy from starch did not induce glucose intolerance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2964-2971
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2004



  • medium-chain triglycerides
  • voluntary feed-intake
  • body-composition
  • primiparous sows
  • neonatal pigs
  • lactation
  • pregnancy
  • level
  • metabolism
  • parities

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