Interpretive Summary: Increased feed supply and dietary fiber from sugar beet pulp improved energy retention in gestating sows
By: Sigrid J. Wisbech, Thomas S. Bruun, and Peter K. Theil
Feeding sows sugar beet pulp (SBP) has many known benefits, for example, increased satiety, and it is a highly fermentable fiber source for sows. This study investigates how efficient sows utilize energy for fat and protein retention in response to increased SBP inclusion in the diet. After a demanding lactation, sows need to restore body fat and concomitantly avoid excessive protein retention, which increases energy demand for maintenance and risk of locomotory problems. The hypothesis in this study was that energy from fermented fibers is more efficient for fat retention than dietary starch. In the study, sows had numerically greater fat retention when fed high concentrations of fiber from SBP, but, concomitantly, sows unintendedly also increased their protein retention, which in turn increased substantially their live weight. Sows were fed one of three feeding strategies depending on the body condition score (lean, medium, or fat) in early gestation, and backfat was efficiently restored in most sows within a month. To conclude, gestating sows have a high capability to utilize energy from fermented fiber, but sows prefer to retain protein rather than fat, which needs to be addressed in the nutrition of modern genotype sows.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.