Eight batches of 24 sows each were distributed into 4 treatments from the 104th day of gestation to farrowing. Sows were fed 2.8 kg/d of the standard gestation diet in the control group, 3.8 kg/d of the same diet in KILO treatment group, whereas H150 and H300 treatments 2.8 kg/d of the same diet and 150 or 300g of rapeseed oil/d respectively. Sows were weighed and their backfat thickness was measured after AI, at 98 days of gestation, at farrowing and at weaning. Feed consumption was monitored during lactation and faecal samples were also collected around the trial. Piglets were weighed after farrowing and at weaning. Six piglets per treatment were euthanized before colostrum consumption to determine the content of total carcass lipids.
Despite a higher energy allowance over 114 days, the maternal body weight variation was not significantly different among treatments. Higher backfat thickness increase was observed for H300 treatment (P<0.05) than for control and H150 treatments and intermediate variation was observed in KILO treatment. No constipation occurrence was observed after farrowing in KILO treatment, but the highest proportion of "normal" faecal consistency was observed in H150 and H300 (P<0.05). Farrowing duration was not influenced significantly by treatments (4.6 hours on average) even if birth intervals were shorter in the KILO and H150 treatments. At a given rank of birth, sows from H300 treatment farrowed more slowly (P=0.06) than others that may be partly explained by a heavier birth weight in this treatment (+0.1 kg/piglet when compared to H150).
It is concluded feed supplementation or lipid supply ten days before farrowing may help farrowing performance and birth body weight.
N Quiniou, M Etienne, J Mourot, J Noblet. 2008. Journées Recherche Porcine, 40: 154-158