Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Sows’ preferences for different forage mixtures offered as fresh or dry forage in relation to botanical and chemical composition

  • L. Aubé (a1) (a2), F. Guay (a2), R. Bergeron (a3), G. Bélanger (a4), G. F. Tremblay (a4) and N. Devillers (a1)...

Abstract

Providing forage to feed-restricted pregnant sows may improve their welfare by reducing their high feeding motivation. The aim of this study was to determine sows’ preferences for four forage mixtures cultivated in Canada. Forage mixtures were compared when offered either fresh or dry. The four forage mixtures were composed of different proportions and species of legumes (alfalfa (Alf) or red clover (Clo)) and grasses (tall fescue (F) and/or timothy (T)): (1) Alf-F, (2) Alf-F-T, (3) Clo-T and (4) Clo-F-T. Voluntary intake was measured, and preference tests were carried out for two experiments: one in spring for fresh forages ( n = 8) and the other in autumn for hays ( n = 8) with different sows housed in individual pens and fed a concentrated diet meeting their nutritional requirements for maintenance and foetal growth. Voluntary intake was measured by offering each forage mixture separately (one forage mixture/day) during 90 min according to a 4 × 4 Latin square design replicated four times. During preference tests, all six combinations of two forage mixtures were offered once (one combination/day) for 45 min to each sow. Individual forage intake was measured, and feeding behaviour was observed. Forages were analysed for botanical and chemical composition. Difference in voluntary intake among the four forage mixtures was determined using a variance analysis followed by Tukey tests for post hoc comparisons. In preference tests, differences between the two forage mixtures offered were determined using a paired Student’s t test, and the most ingested forage mixture was considered the preferred one. Results from both experiments revealed clear preferences for some forage mixtures when offered either fresh or dry. Forage mixtures with a greater proportion of legumes (AlfT and CloT) were preferred over forage mixtures with a higher proportion of grasses (AlfFT and CloFT). The AlfFT and CloFT forage mixtures contained at least 30% of fescue; therefore, the greater preference for the AlfT and CloT forage mixtures could also be due to the absence of fescue. Sows preferred forages with low DM and NDF concentrations and high CP and non-structural carbohydrates concentrations. Based on results from previous studies, the preferences seen in the present study are most likely due to the greater proportion of legumes, although an effect of tall fescue in preference cannot be excluded. Therefore, offering forages with a high proportion of legumes would be a good strategy to maximise both fresh and dry forage intake in pregnant sows.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Bélanger, G, Tremblay, GF, Papadopoulos, YA, Duynisveld, J, Lajeunesse, J, LafreniŁre, C and Fillmore, SAE 2018. Yield and nutritive value of binary legume-mixtures under grazing or frequency cutting. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 98, 395407.
Bergeron, R, Bolduc, J, Ramonet, Y, Meunier-Salaün, M and Robert, S 2000. Feeding motivation and stereotypies in pregnant sows fed increasing levels of fibre and/or food. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 70, 2740.
Bindelle, J, Leterme, P and Buldgen, A 2008. Nutritional and environmental consequences of dietary fibre in pig nutrition: a review. Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement 12, 6980.
Buntinx, S, Pond, K, Fisher, D and Burns, J 1997. The utilization of multidimensional scaling to identify forage characteristics associated with preference in sheep. Journal of Animal Science 75, 16411650.
Burns, J, Fisher, D and Mayland, H 2001. Preference by sheep and goats among hay of eight tall fescue cultivars. Journal of Animal Science 79, 213224.
CCAC 2009. Guidelines on: The care and use of farm animals in research, teaching and testing. Canadian Council on Animal Care, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Dourmad, J, Etienne, M, Prunier, A and Noblet, J 1994. The effect of energy and protein intake of sows on their longevity: a review. Livestock Production Science 40, 8797.
Feyera, T, Hłjgaard, CK, Vinther, J, Bruun, TS and Theil, PK 2017. Dietary supplement rich in fiber fed to late gestating sows during transition reduces rate of stillborn piglets. Journal of Animal Science 95, 54305438.
Gesshe, R and Walton, P 1981. Grazing animal preferences for cultivated forages in Canada. Journal of Range Management 34, 4245.
Heady, HF 1964. Palatability of herbage and animal preference. Journal of Range Management 17, 7682.
Horadagoda, A, Fulkerson, W, Nandra, K and Barchia, I 2009. Grazing preferences by dairy cows for 14 forage species. Animal Production Science 49, 586594.
Isaac, RA and Johnson, WC 1976. Determination of total nitrogen in plant tissue, using a block digestor. Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists 59, 98100.
Jacela, JY, DeRouchey, JM, Tokach, MD, Goodband, RD, Nelssen, JL, Renter, DG and Dritz, SS 2010. Feed additives for swine: fact sheets—flavors and mold inhibitors, mycotoxin binders, and antioxidants. Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Reports 10, 2732.
Jha, R and Berrocoso, JD 2015. Review: Dietary fiber utilization and its effects on physiological functions and gut health of swine. Animal 9, 14411452.
Jung, H and Allen, M 1995. Characteristics of plant cell walls affecting intake and digestibility of forages by ruminants. Journal of Animal Science 73, 27742790.
Kyriazakis, I, Emmans, GC and Whittemore, CT 1991. The ability of pigs to control their protein intake when fed in three different ways. Physiology and Behavior 50, 11971203.
Lawrence, A and Terlouw, E 1993. A review of behavioral factors involved in the development and continued performance of stereotypic behaviors in pigs. Journal of Animal Science 71, 28152825.
Li, Q and Patience, JF 2017. Factors involved in the regulation of feed and energy intake of pigs. Animal Feed Science and Technology 233, 2233.
Lombardi, D, Vasseur, E, Berthiaume, R, DeVries, TJ and Bergeron, R 2015. Feeding preferences and voluntary feed intake of dairy cows: Effect of conservation and harvest time of birdsfoot trefoil and chicory. Journal of Dairy Science 98, 72387247.
Mayland, HF, Shewmaker, GE, Harrison, PA and Chatterton, NJ 2000. Nonstructural carbohydrates in tall fescue cultivars: Relationship to animal preference. Agronomy Journal 92, 12031206.
McLeod, M and Smith, B 1989. Eating and ruminating behaviour in cattle given forages differing in fibre content. Animal Science 48, 503511.
Meunier-Salaün, MC and Bolhuis, J 2015. High-Fibre feeding in gestation. In The gestating and lactating sow (ed. Farmer, C), pp. 95116. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Meunier-Salaün, MC, Edwards, SA and Robert, S 2001. Effect of dietary fibre on the behaviour and health of the restricted fed sow. Animal Feed Science and Technology 90, 5369.
National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) 2014. NFACC code of practice development process. NFACC, Lacombe, AB, Canada.
National Research Council (NRC) 2012. Nutrient requirements of swine, 11th revised edition. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Nie, Z, Tremblay, G, Bélanger, G, Berthiaume, R, Castonguay, Y, Bertrand, A, Michaud, R, Allard, G and Han, J 2009. Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy prediction of neutral detergent-soluble carbohydrates in timothy and alfalfa. Journal of Dairy Science 92, 17021711.
Noblet, J and Perez, JM 1993. Prediction of digestibility of nutrients and energy values of pig diets from chemical analysis. Journal of Animal Science 71, 33893398.
Noblet, J and Shi, XS 1993. Comparative digestibility of energy and nutrients in growing pigs fed ad libitum and adults sows fed at maintenance. Livestock Production Science 34, 137152.
Nombekela, S, Murphy, M, Gonyou, H and Marden, J 1994. Dietary preferences in early lactation cows as affected by primary tastes and some common feed flavors. Journal of Dairy Science 77, 23932399.
Oliviero, C, Kokkonen, T, Heinonen, M, Sankari, S and Peltoniemi, O 2009. Feeding sows with high-fibre diet around farrowing and early lactation: impact on intestinal activity, energy balance related parameters and litter performance. Research in Veterinary Science 86, 314319.
Rachuonyo, H, Allen, V and McGlone, J 2005. Behavior, preference for, and use of alfalfa, tall fescue, white clover, and buffalograss by pregnant gilts in an outdoor production system. Journal of Animal Science 83, 22252234.
Scehovic, J, Poisson, C and Gillet, M 1985. Appétibilité et caractéristiques organoleptiques des graminées. I.-Comparaison du ray-grass et de la fétuque élevée. Agronomie 5, 347354.
Sehested, J, Słegaard, K, Danielsen, V, Roepstorff, A and Monrad, J 2004. Grazing with heifers and sows alone or mixed: Herbage quality, sward structure and animal weight gain. Livestock Production Science 88, 223238.
Smit, HJ, Tamminga, S and Elgersma, A 2006. Dairy cattle grazing preference among six cultivars of perennial ryegrass. Agronomy Journal 98, 12131220.
Solà-Oriol, D, Roura, E and Torrallardona, D 2009. Feed preference in pigs: effect of cereal sources at different inclusion rates. Journal of Animal Science 87, 562570.
Trottier, N, Johnston, L and de Lange, C 2015. Applied amino acid and energy feeding of sows. In The gestating and lactating sow (ed. Farmer, C), pp. 117146. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Wilman, D, Mtengeti, E and Moseley, G 1996. Physical structure of twelve forage species in relation to rate of intake by sheep. The Journal of Agricultural Science 126, 277285.

Keywords

Sows’ preferences for different forage mixtures offered as fresh or dry forage in relation to botanical and chemical composition

  • L. Aubé (a1) (a2), F. Guay (a2), R. Bergeron (a3), G. Bélanger (a4), G. F. Tremblay (a4) and N. Devillers (a1)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed