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Effect of feeding frequency during gestation on reproductive performance of gilts and sows

Effect of feeding frequency during gestation on reproductive performance of gilts and sows

Journal of Animal Science 50(1): 93-98

The crossbred females used in this 2-parity experiment were fed a 12% crude-protein, corn-soybean meal diet as either a single daily meal of 1.9 kg or as an accumulated 5.7 kg meal every 3rd day while housed in complete confinement, with no access to pasture. Experimental treatments were imposed from day 30 to day 109 of gestation. A 16% crude protein diet was fed ad lib throughout a 28-day lactation followed by 1.9 kg daily from weaning to the time when feed intake treatments were reinitiated for the 2nd parity. Gilts fed every 3rd day gained less during gestation and farrowed fewer live pigs that tended to weigh less at birth than those fed every day. Maternal weight loss during lactation, litter size at weaning and piglet weaning weights were unaffected. Although sows tended to gain less during the second gestation when fed every third day, no deleterious effect on reproductive performance was detected. Hourly milk and milkfat production measurements at day 7 of lactation revealed no significant influence of gestation treatment. Backfat thickness at the point of the shoulder and at the last rib, measured at days 30 and 109 of gestation and at weaning, increased during both gestations in animals fed every day but not in those fed every 3rd day. Backfat decreased significantly during lactation in animals fed every day but not in those fed every 3rd day. Although reproductive performance was unaffected in 2nd litter sows fed 5.7 kg of feed every 3rd day during gestation, the utility of this feeding regimen for 1st-litter gilts is questionable.

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Accession: 000639977

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PMID: 7380747

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