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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361155

Research Project: Reducing Production Losses due to Oxidative Stress and Bacterial Pathogens in Swine

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Title: The impact of dietary supplementation of arginine during gestation in a commercial swine herd: II. Offspring performance

item HINES, ELIZABETH - Iowa State University
item ROMOSER, MATTHEW - Iowa State University
item KIEFER, ZOE - Iowa State University
item KEATING, AILEEN - Iowa State University
item BAUMGARD, LANCE - Iowa State University
item NIEMI, JARAD - Iowa State University
item HEBERL, BENJAMIN - Iowa Select Farms
item WILLIAMS, NOEL - Iowa Select Farms
item Kerr, Brian
item TOUCHETTE, KEVIN - Ajinomoto Company, Inc
item ROSS, JASON - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/21/2019
Publication Date: 8/23/2019
Citation: Hines, E.A., Romoser, M.R., Kiefer, Z.E., Keating, A.F., Baumgard, L.H., Niemi, J., Heberl, B., Williams, N.H., Kerr, B.J., Touchette, K.J., Ross, J.W. 2019. The impact of dietary supplementation of arginine during gestation in a commercial swine herd: II. Offspring performance. Journal of Animal Science. 97(9):3626-3635.

Interpretive Summary: Maternal diet and uterine environment influences offspring metabolism and growth. With increased litter size noted in commercial pig production, piglet birth weights have been reduced, possibly due to intrauterine growth restriction. Nutrients in the maternal diet can directly affect the amount of nutrients reaching the uterus, of which arginine is of particular interest because of its importance in milk production and in fetal myogenesis. The current study was conducted to determine if supplementing arginine to the diet during different stages of gestation would improve offspring growth in a commercial swine production system. Data from this experiment provides empirical evidence that arginine provided in diets fed to gilts during late gestation may improve weaning weight and preweaning-average daily gain, but pig performance during the growing-finishing period was not affected. This information is important for nutritionists at universities, feed companies, and pig production facilities that arginine supplementation may provide some moderate production benefits for piglets during their pre-weaning period, but further investigation is needed to understand the gestational timing and biological role of arginine supplementation to gestating gilts during fetal and post-natal development periods.

Technical Abstract: Arginine (Arg) is an important amino acid of pig fetal development; however, whether Arg improves postnatal performance is ill-defined. Therefore, we evaluated the influence of Arg supplementation at different gestational stages on offspring performance in a commercial swine herd. Sows (n = 548) were allocated into four, diet by stage of gestation treatments: Control (n = 143; 0% suppl. Arg), or dietary treatments supplemented with 1% L-Arg (free-base; Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition North America, Inc., Chicago, IL): from 15 to 45d of gestation (n = 138; Early-Arg); 15d of gestation to farrowing (n = 139; Full-Arg); and 85d of gestation to farrowing (n = 128; Late-Arg). All offspring were individually identified at birth; at weaning a subset were selected for evaluation of carcass performance at market. All data were analyzed using birth weight (BiWt) and age as covariates. Wean weights (WW) and pre-wean (PW) ADG tended to increase (P = 0.06) in progeny from sows supplemented with Arg, as compared to progeny from Control sows. Pre-planned contrast comparisons revealed an increased (P = 0.03) BiWt for pigs from sows receiving 1% L-Arg prior to d 45 of gestation (Early-Arg and Full-Arg; 1.38 kg/pig), as compared to pigs from sows not supplemented prior to d 45 of gestation (Control and Late-Arg; 1.34 kg/pig). No difference in BiWt (1.36 kg/pig; P = 0.68) for L-Arg supplementation after d 85 of gestation (Full-Arg and Late-Arg) was observed; however, WW and PW ADG were greater when compared to pigs from sows not supplemented after d 85 of gestation (Control and Early-Arg; P = 0.02). A 3.6% decrease (P = 0.05) in offspring peak lean accretion ADG occurred when sows received 1% L-Arg prior to d 45 of gestation (Early-Arg and Full-Arg), however no other significant differences were detected in finishing growth parameters or carcass characteristics (P = 0.1). Pig mortality rates tended (P = 0.07) to decrease dams were supplemented Arg after d 85 (3.6%) compared dams not provided additional Arg during late gestation (4.9%). Collectively, these data suggest that Arg provided during late gestation may improve WW and PW ADG, however, finishing performance was not affected. While Arg supplementation provided some moderate production benefits, further investigation is warranted to comprehensively understand the gestational timing and biological role of Arg supplementation during fetal and post-natal development in commercial production systems.