The effects of magnesium supplementation in sow diets on the performance are still unknown, especially the dose-effect relationship. Thus, this study was conducted to reveal the effects of magnesium supplementation in gestation and lactation diets on the performance of gilts and parity 3 sows as well as their piglets. Fifty-six gilts (Trial 1) and 56 sows (Trial 2) were assigned to one of 4 treatments according to their mating weight, respectively. The treatments comprised corn-soybean meal based gestation and lactation diets (0.21% Mg) supplemented with 0, 0.015, 0.03, or 0.045% Mg from mating until weaning. Chromic oxide (0.20%) was added to the diet as an inert marker. Blood samples were collected from ear vein and from precaval vein of their piglets. Colostrum or milk samples were taken manually from the same mammary glands (first, third and fifth teat on both sides), in order to analyze the level of calcium and magnesium.
The results showed that magnesium supplementation significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the weaning to estrus interval in both gilts and sows. There were significant effects (P < 0.05) of supplemental magnesium on the total number of piglets born, born alive and weaned in sows. In late gestation and lactation, the digestibility of crude fiber (quadratic effects, P < 0.05), and crude protein (P < 0.05), were significantly influenced by magnesium in gilts and sows, respectively. There were differences among the 4 groups in terms of the apparent digestibility of dry matter and crude fiber in sows (P < 0.05) during both early and late gestation. The apparent digestibility of gross energy was increased for sows in late gestation (P < 0.05), and lactation (quadratic effects, P < 0.05). At farrowing and weaning, serum prolactin levels increased in sows as the Mg supplementation increased (P < 0.05). Serum Mg of sows at farrowing was significantly influenced by Mg supplementation (P < 0.05). The Mg concentration in sow colostrum and the serum of their piglets were increased by supplemental magnesium (P < 0.05).
In conclusion, magnesium supplementation has the potential to improve the reproduction performance of sows, and the suitable supplemental dose ranged from 0.015% to 0.03%. Therefore, it is possible that as the sow ages, magnesium stores in the body decline, increasing the sow’s reliance on the diet to provide magnesium.
Zang, J., Chen, J., Tian, J., Wang, A., Liu, H., Hu, S., Che, X., Ma, Y., Wang, J., Wang, C., Du, G. and Ma, X. 2014. Effects of the magnesium on the performance of sows and their piglets. Journal of animal science and biotechnology, 5:39. doi:10.1186/2049-1891-5-39