Impact of a specialized feeding regime for replacement gilts on lactation performance - Ontario Pork - Recently Funded Research
Saturday, January 28, 2023
    

Recently Funded Research

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals once a year. 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 Jessica Fox at jessica.fox@swinehealthontario.ca


Recently Funded Research

Impact of a specialized feeding regime for replacement gilts on lactation performance

Impact of a specialized feeding regime for replacement gilts on lactation performance

Project 18-007- Lead Resesarcher: Robert Friendship, University of Guelph

Introduction: An important phase of mammary development occurs between the age of 90 days and puberty. Previous research suggests optimum mammary development requires unrestricted feeding. Breeding companies often restrict feed to replacement gilts during this phase of growth to reduce weight gain and hopefully reduce lameness.

Objectives: 1) To determine the impact of a specialized feeding regime for replacement gilts on their lactation performances. 2) To help develop best-adapted feeding strategies for replacement gilts that will minimize leg problems (increasing longevity) while maximizing mammary development.

Materials and Methods: Gilts were assigned to 1 of 4 feeding programs: [1] commercial diet fed ad libitum (CON), [2] commercial diet fed 10%, or [3] 20% below ad libitum, and [4] a high-fiber diet fed ad libitum (with 25% more fiber than the commercial diet and energy density reduced by 5%; FIB). Gilts received the feeding program between 90 days of age and breeding at approximately 190 days of age. Body weight and feed disappearance were determined weekly. Lactation data were analyzed. Results and Discussion: The high fibre diet controlled the body weight and backfat depth of gilts when fed during the development period of 90 to 190 days of age. By the end of gestation, body weight among treatment groups was similar. No differences in piglet growth rates pre- and post-weaning were observed.

Conclusions: The use of a high fibre feeding program fed ad libitum can be utilized to control the growth of developing gilts without impairing subsequent lactation performance.

Final Report

Researcher Profile: Robert Friendship
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