Interpretive Summary: Evaluation of essential fatty acids in lactating sow diets on sow reproductive performance, colostrum and milk composition, and piglet survivability
By: Julia P Holen, Jason C Woodworth, Mike D Tokach, Robert D Goodband, Joel M DeRouchey, Jordan T Gebhardt, Ashley E DeDecker, Xochitl Martinez
Supplemental fat sources are an effective and widely accepted strategy to increase energy density of sow lactation diets that can also provide essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA). Currently, the effects of supplemental LA and ALA provided shortly before farrowing on colostrum and milk composition are not fully understood. Additionally, the influence of elevated LA and ALA provided in sow lactation diets on litter growth and survivability responses has not been extensively evaluated. Therefore, this trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of fat sources providing low and high LA and ALA intake on sow performance, litter growth and survivability, colostrum and milk composition, and subsequent reproductive performance. Overall, sows consuming diets with high LA and ALA provided by soybean oil produced litters with heavier piglet weaning weights and greater litter average daily gain when compared with sows consuming diets with low LA and ALA content. Increasing LA and ALA by added soybean oil also increased their content in colostrum and milk. However, there was no influence of sow LA and ALA intake on litter survivability or subsequent reproductive performance of sows.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.