The effect of feeding sows a starch diet or a diet with a high level of nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) during gestation, lactation, or both gestation and lactation during the first three parities on reproductive performance, body weight, and backfat was studied. Four-hundred and forty-four postpuberal gilts were allotted to a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial experiment. Treatments were diet composition during gestation (including the weaning-to-estrus interval; G-Starch: 274 g/kg of starch and 123 g/kg of fermentable NSP or G-NSP: 86 g/kg of starch and 300 g/kg of fermentable NSP), diet composition during lactation (L-Starch: 293 g/kg of starch and 113 g/kg of fermentable NSP or L-NSP: 189 g/kg of starch and 216 g/kg of fermentable NSP) and group-housing system during gestation (free access stalls or electronic feeding). Both gestation diets were formulated to be isoenergetic. During lactation, sows were given free access to the lactation diets from d 6 after parturition onwards. Body weight and backfat gains during gestation were lower in sows fed the G-NSP diet than in those fed the G-starch diet (P <0.001). The effects were more pronounced in the electronic feeding system than in the free access stalls. These results indicate an overestimation of the energy value of fermentable NSP. Body weight and backfat losses during lactation were less in sows fed the G-NSP diet during gestation than in those fed the G-starch diet (P <0.05),which can be explained by a 0.4 kg/d higher (P <0.001) feed intake during lactation of the sows fed the G-NSP diet. Sows fed the L-NSP diet lost more backfat during lactation than sows fed the L-starch diet (P <0.05). The number of total piglets born and live-born piglets was 0.5 piglet higher in sows fed the G-NSP diet than in those fed the G-starch diet (P <0.05). Lactation diet did not affect the number of total piglets born or live-born piglets. This study shows that, although high NSP diets negatively influence body weight and backfat thickness of the sows, it is possible to feed sows a diet with a high level of fermentable NSP diet during both gestation and lactation without negative effects on reproductive performance. Under the conditions of this study, feeding sows a diet with a high level of fermentable NSP during gestation and a high level of starch during lactation seems the most favorable feeding strategy.
|Journal||Journal of Animal Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- voluntary feed-intake
- high-fiber diets
- dry sows