Modified diet may increase pig birthrate
New research shows that prenatal death and fetal growth
restriction in pigs can be minimised by dietary adjustments that can enhance
placental growth, thereby promoting an optimal intrauterine environment
The widespread practice of restricted feeding programs
to prevent excessive weight gain of sows during pregnancy may result in
increased death and reduced growth of fetuses.
Sows may also not receive
sufficient amounts of certain nutrients during mid- to late-gestation when a
restricted feeding programme is used. Arginine
could be greatly reduced by supplementing standard corn and soybean-based
maternal diets with an additional 0.83 percent arginine
days 30 and 114 of gestation, according to the researchers Guoyao Wu, Sung Woo
Kim and colleagues that conducted studies that were funded by the USDA's
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.Economic
Compared to the control sows that received no
additional arginine, the additional supplementation increased the number and
total litter weight of piglets born alive by two per litter and 24%,
respectively. The study shows that a specific dietary intervention can enhance
reproductive performance in pigs.
This recent discovery may result in a significant economic return to pork
producers. An increase in the number of live-born pigs will markedly reduce the
production costs associated with sow reproduction and lactation. An increase in
the vitality of newborn pigs will increase their rate of survival to weaning.
USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and
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