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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of dietary protein on performance of sows.

Authors
item Mateo, Ronaldo - TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
item Carroll, Jeffery
item Hyun, Y - DODRAM B&F, SEOUL, KOREA
item Smith, S - TAMU-COLLEGE STATION, TX
item Kim, Sungwoo - TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 25, 2008
Publication Date: January 5, 2009
Citation: Mateo, R., Carroll, J.A., Hyun, Y., Smith, S., Kim, S. 2009. Effect of dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of dietary protein on performance of sows. Journal of Animal Science. 87:948-959.

Interpretive Summary: Nutritional strategies used to improve reproductive performance of sows commonly involves dietary manipulation. Although studies have been limited, dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in animal diets shows great potential, especially in improving the reproductive performance of sows. ARS scientists within the Livestock Issues Research Unit in Lubbock, Texas, in collaboration with a swine nutritionist at Texas Tech University, investigated whether or not providing dietary omega-3 fatty acids, with or without high protein levels during late gestation and throughout lactation, would enhance the performance of sows and their litters during both first and second parity. Results from this study revealed that omega-3 fatty acids or high protein diet supplementation provided either individually or in combination during late gestation had no apparent benefit on pregnancy outcome in first-parity sows, although omega-3 fatty acids may improve subsequent piglet birth weight and improve growth of nursing piglets. The information gained from this study will be of particular interest to livestock producers, feed ingredient companies, and scientists working in the area of nutritional supplements to improve productivity in domestic livestock.

Technical Abstract: This study was conducted to determine the effect of dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids (O3FA), with or without high levels of dietary protein supplementation, on the performance of sows and their litters during first and subsequent parities. Sixty-four pregnant gilts with body weight (BW) of 195.0 ± 2.1 kg and backfat (BF) thickness of 12.9 ± 0.16 mm were randomly assigned to one of four dietary treatments from d 60 of gestation to d 21 of lactation. Dietary treatments were: 1) control (CON); 2) high protein diet (HP); 3) CON + 0.2% O3FA (O3); and 4) HP + 0.2% O3FA (HPO3). For CON and O3, dietary CP contents were 12.3% for gestation and 17.9% for lactation and were 18.4% for gestation and 19.5% for lactation for HP and HPO3. On d 60 and 110 of gestation, BW, BF thickness, and blood samples were obtained. Pregnant gilts were transferred to individual farrowing crates on d 110 of gestation. Numbers of total and live born piglets and birth weights were measured within 24 h post-farrowing. BW and BF thickness of sows were measured after farrowing and at d 10 and 21 of lactation. Blood samples from sows were also obtained at d 10 and 21 of lactation. Colostrum and milk samples were obtained on d 2 and 21 of lactation, respectively. All piglets were weaned at 21 d. Days for return-to-estrus and average daily feed intake (ADFI) were recorded. The same measurements were obtained from the CON and O3 groups during subsequent parity. Dietary treatment did not affect (P > 0.05) BW, BF thickness, ADFI, and days for return-to-estrus of sows during their first gestation and lactation. O3FA supplementation altered (P < 0.05) both colostral and milk fatty acid composition. First parity litter size and piglet BW at birth (P > 0.05) did not differ among treatment groups. Piglet BW was higher for the O3 compared to both CON and HPO3 groups at d 10 (3.5 vs. 3.1 and 3.2 kg; P < 0.05) and 21 (6.0 vs. 5.2 and 5.4 kg; P < 0.01). The same pattern was also noted for overall piglet weight gain. Both piglet and litter characteristics of the HP group did not differ (P > 0.05) from other groups throughout lactation. During subsequent parity, both total (P = 0.05) and live (P = 0.065) piglet birth weight tended to be higher for the O3 than the CON group. Compared to the CON group, O3 piglet performance showed a similar pattern to the previous parity. Results show that O3 or HP diets provided either individually or in combination during late gestation had no apparent benefit on pregnancy outcome of first parity sows, although O3FA may improve subsequent piglet birth weight. However, O3FA supplementation alone during lactation regardless of parity may improve the growth of nursing piglets.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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