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Impact of fat source and dietary fibers on feed intake, plasma metabolites, litter gain and the yield and composition of milk in sows

  • U. Krogh (a1), T. S. Bruun (a2), J. Poulsen (a2) (a3) and P. K. Theil (a1)


Sow lactation diets often include fat sources without considering the impact on digestion, metabolism and performance. Fiber ingredients may reduce feed intake and are often completely excluded from lactation diets, although locally available ingredients may be cost-efficient alternatives to partly replace cereals in lactation diets. Thus, a standard lactation diet low in dietary fiber, and two high-fiber diets based on sugar beet pulp (SBP) or alfalfa meal (ALF) were formulated. The SBP diet was high in soluble non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), whereas ALF being high in insoluble NSP. Each diet was divided in three portions and combined with 3% soybean oil (SOYO), palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD), or glycerol trioctanoate (C8TG) as the dietary fat source. Equal amounts of metabolizable energy were fed to 36 second parity sows from day 105 of gestation and throughout lactation to study the impact on feed intake, plasma metabolites, milk production and litter performance. Backfat thickness and BW of sows were recorded on days 3, 17 and 28 of lactation; blood was sampled on days 3 and 17; milk samples were obtained on days 3, 10, 17 and 24 of lactation; and piglets were weighed on days 2, 7, 14, 21 and 28 of lactation. Litter gain and milk yield during late lactation were greater in sows fed C8TG or SOYO than in sows fed PFAD (P=0.05), whereas loss of BW (P=0.60) and backfat (P=0.70) was unaffected by fat source. Milk protein on days 3 and 10 of lactation were lower in C8TG and SOYO sows, than in PFAD sows (P<0.05). The lowest concentration of plasma lactate on day 3 (P<0.05) and plasma acetate on day 17 (P<0.05) was observed in C8TG sows. Milk yield was unaffected by fiber treatment (P=0.43), whereas milk protein concentration was lowest in ALF sows (P<0.05). Feed intake tended to be lower (P=0.09), and litter gain during the 3rd week of lactation was decreased (P<0.05) in SBP sows. In conclusion, performance was enhanced in SOYO and C8TG compared with PFAD sows, possibly associated with reduced energy intake in PFAD-fed sows. Furthermore, the SBP diet seemed to impair feed intake and litter gain at peak lactation, suggesting that effects of the dietary fiber fraction on energy intake determines the potential inclusion level of fiber-rich ingredients.


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