Recent Advances in Amino Acid and Energy Nutrition of Prolific Sows - Review -

  • Boyd, R.D. (PIC USA) ;
  • Touchette, K.J. (Department of Animal Science, University of Missouri) ;
  • Castro, G.C. (PIC USA) ;
  • Johnston, M.E. (PIC USA) ;
  • Lee, K.U. (Jeil Feed Co.) ;
  • Han, In K. (Department of Anim. Sci. and Technol., Seoul National University)
  • Published : 2000.11.01


Prolific females require better nutrition and feeding practice because of larger litter size and the substantial decline in body fat. Life-time pig output will be compromised if body protein and fat are not properly managed. First litter females are especially vulnerable because they can loose ${\geq}15%$ of whole-body protein. Conservation of body protein mass during first lactation minimizes wean to estrus interval and increases second litter size (up to 1.2 pigs). The ability to influence litter-size by amino acid nutrition is a new dimension in our understanding. A P2 fat depth below 12 mm at farrow and below 10 mm at wean compromised wean to estrus interval (>2 d) and next litter size (0.5 to 1.5 pigs) in sows. It is now clear that a 'modest' excess of feed during the first 72 h of pregnancy decreases embryo viability so that the potential for an increased litter size at birth is not realized. The capacity for milk production by prolific young sows is 25% higher than the standard used previously (NRC, 1988). First litter females averaged 9.82 kg milk/d for a 21 d lactation. Second and third litter counterparts averaged 10.35 kg/d. Milk production was 95% of peak by 10 d of lactation and sows were in greatest negative energy and lysine balance during the first 6 d. Nearly 45% of the total loss in body protein occurred within the first 6 d, but this could reduced to 30-35% by using a more aggressive feeding strategy after parturition. There appear to be 2 phases in lactation for lysine need (d 2-12 vs 12-21). Feeding to the higher level alleviates the second litter size decline. The lysine requirement for lactation can be predicted with accuracy, but we are not able to predict the second limiting amino acid. Mammary uptake of valine relative to lysine and recent work with practical diets suggest that the recent NRC (1998) pattern is realistic and that threonine and valine could be co-limiting for corn-soy diets for prolific sows nursing 10-11 pigs. Empirical studies are needed to refine the ideal pattern so that synthetic lysine can be used with more confidence. Milk fat output for the elite sow is extraordinary and poses an unnecessarily high energetic cost. Methods that reduce mammary fat synthesis will benefit the sow and may enhance piglet growth.


Sow;Nutrition;Pregnancy;Lactation;Amino Acids;Energy

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