Dietary Supplementation of Magnesium Sulfate during Late Gestation and Lactation Affects the Milk Composition and Immunoglobulin Levels in Sows

  • Hou, W.X. (Institute of Animal Nutrition, Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Cheng, S.Y. (Institute of Animal Nutrition, Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Liu, S.T. (Institute of Animal Nutrition, Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Shi, B.M. (Institute of Animal Nutrition, Northeast Agricultural University) ;
  • Shan, A.S. (Institute of Animal Nutrition, Northeast Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2014.03.11
  • Accepted : 2014.06.10
  • Published : 2014.10.01


This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation of magnesium sulfate ($MgSO_4$) during late gestation and lactation on sow and litter performance, fecal moisture, blood biochemistry parameters, immunoglobulin levels and milk composition in sows. Forty-eight sows ($Yorkshire{\times}Landrace$, 4th to 5th parity) were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 dietary treatments supplemented with 0, 200, 400, or 600 mg/kg $MgSO_4$ (n = 12). The experiment started on day 90 of gestation and continued through day 21 of lactation. Blood samples were collected on day 107 of gestation, day 0 (farrowing) and 21 (weaning) of lactation for the analyses of the blood biochemistry parameters and immunoglobulin levels. The colostrum and milk samples were obtained on day 0 and 14 of lactation, respectively. Fecal samples were collected from the sows on day 107 of gestation as well as day 7 and 20 of lactation to determine fecal moisture content. The results showed that the survival percentage of piglets and the litter weight at weaning were decreased linearly (p<0.05) and other parameters of the sow or litter performance were not influenced (p>0.05) by $MgSO_4$ supplementation. The fecal moisture content of the sows were increased (p<0.05) linearly as dietary $MgSO_4$ increased on day 7 and 20 of lactation. Supplementation with $MgSO_4$ increased the plasma magnesium (Mg) level linearly (p<0.05) and had a trend to increase total protein level (p>0.05 and p<0.10). However, an increase in the dietary $MgSO_4$ level resulted in a linear decrease in the colostrum fat content (p<0.05). Dietary $MgSO_4$ supplementation enhanced the immunoglobulin G (IgG) level (linear, p<0.05) in plasma on day of farrowing and immunoglobulin A (IgA) level in colostrum (quadratic, p<0.05) and milk (linear, p<0.05) of the sows. These results indicated that supplementation with $MgSO_4$ during late gestation and lactation may have the potential to prevent sow constipation, but may also result in some negative effects.


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