Effect of lactation feed intake and creep feeding on sow and piglet performance

Increasing total feed intake of sows during lactation may improve litter gain and sow productivity
Thursday 5 February 2009 (9 years 10 months 8 days ago)
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The objective of the present study were to evaluate the effect of lactation feed intake and creep feeding on pre- and post-weaning performance and to determine the effect of creep feeding on body weight loss, backfat thickness and weaning-to-estrus interval.

A total of 84 sows divided in three groups and their litters were used. The groups were arranges according to day of farrowing and parity and allotted to a four treatments. Experimental treatments were: lactation feed intake (ad libitum or restricted) and creep feeding (non vs creep). Commercial lactation diet in mash form and pellet creep feed were offered. Piglets were individually weighed at days 3, 7, 14 and 21. Amount of creep feed consumed was daily determined. Sow weight and P2 backfat thickness were measured after farrowing and at weaning.

There was no interaction between lactation feed intake and creep feeding (P>0.05). ad libitum feeding sows reduced BW loss (P<0.01), improved total (P<0.04) and daily (P<0.04) gain of litters and increased (P<0.03) the percentage of sows returning to estrus compared restricted -fed sows. Creep feeding did not affect (P>0.30) sow body weight and backfat loss, but increased days to estrus (P<0.03). Creep feeding tended to improve litter weaning weights (P<0.09) by reducing mortality rate after cross fostering (P<0.06).

It is concluded that low feed intake during lactation negatively affect both sow and litter performance and creep feeding does not necessarily improve pre-weaning gain and sow performance.

RC Sulabo, MD Tokach, JY Jacela, EJ Widemann, JL Nelssen SSDritz, JM DeRouchey and RD Goodband (2007), Kansas State University, Swine Day, 24-37.

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