Interpretive Summary: Evaluation of supplemental fat sources and pre-farrow essential fatty acid intake on lactating sow performance and essential fatty acid composition of colostrum, milk, and adipose tissue
By: Julia P Holen, Jason C Woodworth, Mike D Tokach, Robert D Goodband, Joel M DeRouchey, Jordan T Gebhardt
The lactating sow secretes essential fatty acids (EFA) in colostrum and milk to support litter growth and if dietary linoleic (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) intake during lactation are limited, subsequent reproductive function of sows may be impaired. However, the inclusion of dietary fat sources with varying EFA composition in lactation diets provided shortly prior to farrowing can increase the energy density of the diet and modify colostrum and milk fatty acid profiles that may influence litter growth performance and survivability. The first objective of this trial was to evaluate the impact of providing sows lactation diets with dietary fat sources that provide low or high EFA on colostrum, milk, and sow adipose tissue fatty acid composition. A second objective was to evaluate the timing of feeding low- or high-EFA diets within the last week of gestation on colostrum and milk EFA composition. Overall, providing dietary fat sources with high concentrations of EFA shortly prior to farrowing altered fatty acid profiles of colostrum, milk, and backfat resulting in increased LA and ALA when compared to providing sows diets with low EFA. However, changes in colostrum and milk composition did not alter litter growth performance.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.