US: Modified diet may increase pig birthrate
New research, funded by USDA, shows that prenatal
death and fetus growth restriction in pigs can be minimised by dietary
adjustments that can enhance placental growth, thereby promoting an optimal
intrauterine environment throughout pregnancy.
The widespread practice of restricted feeding programmes to prevent excessive
weight gain of sows during pregnancy may result in increased death and reduced
growth of fetuses. Sows may also not receive sufficient amounts of certain
nutrients during mid- to late-gestation when a restricted feeding programme is
These problems could be greatly
reduced by supplementing standard corn and soybean-based maternal diets with an
additional 0.83 percent arginine between days 30 and 114 of gestation, according
to the researchers Guoyao Wu, Sung Woo Kim and colleagues that conducted studies
that were funded by the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and
Compared to the
control sows that received no additional arginine, the additional
supplementation increased the number and total litter weight of piglets born
alive by two per litter and 24%, respectively. The study shows that a specific
dietary intervention can enhance reproductive performance in pigs.
recent discovery may result in a significant economic return to pork producers.
An increase in the number of live-born pigs will markedly reduce the production
costs associated with sow reproduction and lactation. An increase in the
vitality of newborn pigs will increase their rate of survival to weaning.
â€¢ USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education,
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