Interpretive Summary: Reducing BW loss during lactation in sows: a meta-analysis on the use of a nonstarch polysaccharide-hydrolyzing enzyme supplement.
By: Surely Wallace
In an article published in July 2018 in the Journal of Animal Science, a meta-analysis was done to determine how supplementation of non-starch polysaccharide (NSP)-hydrolyzing enzymes (from the fungi Talaromyces versatilis) in sow feed affected sow performance during lactation.
Sows have increased energy needs during farrowing and lactation due to metabolic changes. However, right after farrowing, they also have a poor appetite. These increased energy needs combined with reduced feed intake may cause up to a 10% loss in the total body weight of sows. Future reproductive performance may then be negatively impacted. It is suspected that bulking of NSP in feed may contribute to reduced intake. Therefore, NSP-hydrolyzing enzymes may counter this effect by increasing feed digestibility. However, there is limited study in this area.
A total of 8 studies were analyzed (992 sows, parity 1 to 8). The authors looked at body weight loss, feed intake, backfat depth, and piglet growth. Meta-analysis indicated the following: sows receiving NSP-hydrolyzing enzymes in feed had a reduced weight loss by 1-2% of total body weight, when compared to controls. There was also increase in DM, OM and DE. There was no significant difference in feed intake or backfat depth with feed type. There was increased litter weight gain (3.8 kg) in NSP-hydrolyzing enzyme fed sows. An average net energy improvement (0.61 MJ/kg) was reported with NSP-hydrolyzing enzymes in feed in this meta-analysis. There were additionally notable differences in sow performance based on parity.
The authors note that extra energy released from indigestible NSP starch when feed is supplemented with NSP-hydrolyzing enzymes appears to go towards either sow growth or milk production. Overall, the results of this meta-analysis suggest that NSP-hydrolyzing enzymes such as xylanase in sow feed may potentially benefit production in lactating sows. Larger studies on how NSP-hydrolyzing enzymes added to feed might affect sow performance during lactation, and subsequent piglet growth, need to be done to support the findings of this limited meta-analysis, which included only 8 studies.
To view the article, “Reducing BW loss during lactation in sows: a meta-analysis on the use of a nonstarch polysaccharide-hydrolyzing enzyme supplement,” visit the Journal of Animal Science.