Nutritional intervention in terms of feed restriction during the day to control body composition of sows constrains metabolism to alternate between storage and use of nutrients to ensure a continuous supply of energy. It was hypothesized that feeding the same amount of energy per kilogram live BW0.75 at different times of the day could alter energy and nutrient metabolism of gestation sows to influence their performance. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the effect of feeding time based on similar energy intake per kilogram live BW0.75 during gestation. For that purpose, a total of 174 sows (Landrace × Large White) similar in terms of parity (3.8 ± 0.16) and initial body weight (211.6 ± 3.34 kg) were randomly allotted to 1 of 3 treatments in a randomized complete block design. Treatments consisted on feeding the sows with a corn-soybean meal-based diet once at 07:30 h (control, T1), 11:30 h (T2), or 15:30 h (T3), with daily feed quantity settled at 1.25 x maintenance energy intake (100 x BW0.75) kcal ME/d. Sows received 6758, 7434, and 8110 kcal ME/d from days 30 to 60, days 61 to 90, and days 91 to 109 of gestation, respectively. Body weight and backfat were recorded on days 30, 60, 90, and 109 of gestation, 24 h after farrowing and at weaning.
As a result, the selected feeding times did not alter BW changes from day 30 to day 109 of gestation or from day 30 to weaning. Moreover, feeding sows daily at 11:30 h did not impact on backfat gains or sow reproductive performance in comparison with the control sows. However, sows fed once daily at 15:30 h did show a gain in backfat when compared with the control group (3.7 ± 0.47 mm vs. 2.1 ± 0.50 mm) from day 30 to day 109 of gestation. From day 30 of gestation to weaning, treatments did not influence backfat gain. Finally, feeding sows daily at 15:30 h showed a tendency to increase the number of piglets weaned by 0.54 piglets when compared with the control sows.
In conclusion, under limit-fed conditions, feeding pregnant sows once daily at 11:30 h did not differ from the control sows for any of the studied parameters. However, feeding sows at 15:30 h showed some beneficial effects, such as an improved backfat gain during gestation and a potential to increase the number of weaned piglets compared with conventional feeding regime.
Manu, H., Lee, S. H., Ren, P., Pangeni, D., Yang, X., and Baidoo, S. K. (2019). Effects of time of feeding during gestation on sow’s performance. Journal of Animal Science, 97(3), 1234-1241. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz006