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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1996

A two-diet system and ad libitum lactation feeding of the sow .1. Sow performance

Neil, Maria; Ogle, Brian; Annèr, K.


Effects of a two-diet system combined with ad libitum lactation feeding of sows on food consumption, sow line weight (LW), backfat depth, condition scoring, rebreeding interval, symptoms of agalactia and culling were studied on 60 sows followed for four parities. Feeding regimes were: CR, conventional i.e. restricted during gestation and lactation; SA, a simplified diet offered at a restricted level during gestation and a conventional diet as libitum during lactation; CA, conventional during gestation and the same diet ad libitum during lactation. During lactation CR sows consumed 5.9 kg food daily (71 MJ metabolizable energy (ME)), whereas SA and CA sows consumed on average 7.0 kg (85 MJ ME), the difference being larger in multiparous than in primiparous sows and larger in the first than in later weeks of lactation. From the second farrowing onward sows on CR treatment were lighter and had thinner backfat and lower condition scores than sows on CA treatment, with sows on SA treatment in between, i.e. approaching the CR sows in the gestation periods and the CA sows in the lactation periods. At first service LW was 130 kg and backfat thickness 14 mm. During the fourth lactation LW averaged 190 kg in CR sows and around 220 kg for SA and CA sows, and backfat thickness was 11 mm in CR sows and around 16 mm in SA and CA sows. SA sows tended to rebreed earlier after weaning than did CR or CA sows. Ca sows and in particular SA sows had higher incidences of agalactia symptoms and higher rectal temperatures post partum than CR sows. The culling rates did not differ feeding regimes, although the predominant causes for culling did, being shoulder lesions and abscesses in thin CR sows and leg disorders in SA and CA sows. At the end of the experiment, however, more SA sows than others were retained in the experimental herd. It was concluded that the SA feeding regime was superior in terms of sow performance, despite an increased incidence of agalactia symptoms.


backfat; body weight; food intake; longevity; cows

Published in

Animal Science
1996, volume: 62, pages: 337-347

Authors' information

Neil, Maria
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Ogle, Brian
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management
Annèr, K.
SLU - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

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