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Effects of pre-partum feeding level on productive performance and within-litter variation of litter body-weight from high prolific sows.

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Authors: M. Adsuar, J. Fornós, R. Macià, D. Babot y J. Álvarez-Rodríguez
Issue: 110-3 (251-265)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: Pregnancy, lactation, intake, back-fat thickness, piglets.

This work hypothesized that increasing dams feed ration during the last third of pregnancy would trigger greater and more uniform birth weight of piglets. Ninety-six pregnant Landrace x Large-White sows sired by Pietrain boars were used to assess the effect of feeding level (HIGH, 1.2 x maintenance (M) vs. LOW, 1 x M) from day 90 of pregnancy to farrowing in a field study during the hot season. Individual feed intake and back-fat thickness was recorded throughout the last 3 weeks of pregnancy and 3 weeks of lactation. Productive parameters of sows and litter were registered after delivery (born piglets, mortality, piglets weaned, weaning to oestrus interval and individual piglets’ weight at birth (<24 h) and at weaning). Sow feed intake during lactation did not depend on previous pre-partum feeding level and it had inseno effect on sow body reserves dynamics from late pregnancy to subsequent weaning. The proportion of anoestrus sows after drying-off (> 10 days) was greater when pre-partum feeding level had been increased. Higher feeding level was not counterbalanced either with a greater litter weight at birth, or a lower within-litter variation of piglet body-weight or increasing body growth of piglets. Although the proportion of dead piglets during lactation was similar between groups, increasing pre-partum feeding level may have impact on the body-weight range of pre-weaning dead piglets, since this practice concentrated mortality events in animals displaying lower birth body-weights.

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