Interpretive Summary: Impact of four fiber-rich supplements on nutrient digestibility, colostrum production, and farrowing performance in sows
By Anne Zinn
A study recently published in the Journal of Animal Science investigated the impact of different dietary fiber sources and extra energy supplementation from glycerol or sugar on the reproductive and production performance of the sows. The role of dietary fiber in pig nutrition and health has received much research interest because of its versatility. Recently, research has been focused on the impact of either a single or a mixed dietary fiber source with a standard gestation diet. Additionally, data for apparent total tract digestibility in late gestating sows is scarce, and the impact of dietary fiber sources on apparent total tract digestibility of gross energy and nutrients during the transition period is lacking. Therefore, the present study investigated the impact of dietary fiber sources on the farrowing kinetics, litter characteristics, colostrum production, and apparent total tract digestibility of gross energy and nutrients in multiparous sows fed the dietary fiber sources throughout gestation and supplemented with energy sources during the last week of gestation. It was hypothesized that farrowing performance, litter characteristic, colostrum production, and apparent total tract digestibility of the nutrients would depend on the dietary fiber sources.
Overall, results demonstrated that sows supplemented with palm kernel expellers and soy hulls had more assisted farrowings when compared with mixed fiber or sugar beet pulp supplemented sows. Similarly, additional energy from glycerol or sugar had no beneficial impact on the farrowing performance. These results indicate that the use of palm kernel expellers as a fiber source for late gestating sows should be avoided because it impairs farrowing process, colostrum production, and nutrient digestibility.
The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science webpage.