Tuesday, July 23, 2019
    

Completed Research

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals twice a year (fall and spring). These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Kathy Zurbrigg at kathy.zurbrigg@ontariopork.on.ca


Completed Research

Gestation and lactation feeding strategies for increased performance of sows

Gestation and lactation feeding strategies for increased performance of sows

Project 11-213 - Researcher: Paul Luimes

Research Summary - Project 11/213
Researcher: Paul Luimes
Topic: Gestation and lactation feeding strategies for increased performance of sows
To study improved production related to feeding during gestation and lactation, researchers from University of Guelph Ridgetown campus compared several strategies. Three hundres sows from a commercial farm in Ontario were divided into two different gestation feeding strategies and three different lactation feeding strategies for the duration of three parities. In the gestation feeding study, sows were fed either based on visual inspection by the producer or according to a sow’s specific weight and backfat measurements (using the Kansas State gestation feeding strategy). The results showed that when gestating sows are fed according to their measured weight and backfat, they consume more feed than sows fed by a stockperson’s gauge of their body condition score (BCS). As a result, gestating sows fed using the Kansas State strategy were heavier at farrowing and at weaning but there was no effect of the gestational feeding on the performance of the sow or litter. 

In the lactation feeding trial, three feeding strategies were examined, conventional” where sows were fed twice daily with enough feed to ensure leftovers, “Ramp” where sows were started off with low feed amounts which increased to ad lib by day 13 after farrowing and “Ad-lib” where sows were fed using self-feeders as much as they could eat throughout lactation.  The Ad-lib group produced 1.7 more live born pigs per litter in their following parities compared to conventional group and 1.5 more pigs per litter than the ramp-feeding group.  However in the study there appeared to be a trade-off with larger litters having lower birthweight piglets.  The researchers did note some practical issues with the ad-lib feeders, such as feed wastage or “gumming” of the feeder distribution device if the feed gets wet which increased the labour involved (cleaning out stale feed).  Continuously improved designs of self-feeders and the use of an auger filled hopper may reduce these challenges in the future.
The researchers overall conclusions were that the Kansas gestation feeding strategy should be employed if improvement in sow body condition is needed and the use of self-feeders during lactation will lead to an increase in live born numbers.
 
Additional Resources:
Page 45 of the London Swine Conference Proceedings 2014
https://www.londonswineconference.ca/images/pdfs/Proceedings/LSCProceedings2014.pdf
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