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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Production

Including dietary fiber and resistant starch to increase satiety and reduce aggression in gestating sows12


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 94 No. 5, p. 2117-2127
    Received: Oct 21, 2015
    Accepted: Feb 19, 2016
    Published: April 8, 2016

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. A. Sapkota*,
  2. J. N. Marchant-Forde,
  3. B. T. Richert* and
  4. D. C. Lay Jr. 3
  1. * Department of Animal Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
     Livestock Behavior Research Unit, USDA-ARS, West Lafayette, IN 47907


Aggression during mixing of pregnant sows impacts sow welfare and productivity. The aim of this study was to increase satiety and reduce aggression by including dietary fiber and fermentable carbohydrates. Sows were housed in individual stalls 7 to 14 d after breeding (moving day was considered d 0 of treatment) and were fed (at 0700 h) with a CONTROL (corn–soybean meal based with no additional fiber sources), RSTARCH (10.8% resistant starch), BEETPULP (27.2% sugar beet pulp), SOYHULLS (19.1% soybean hulls), or INCSOY (14.05% soybean hulls) for 21 d (5 sows/diet × 5 diets × 8 replications = 200 sows). The CONTROL diet was targeted to contain 185 g(d∙sow) NDF and the other diets were targeted to contain 350 g(d∙sow) NDF. The INCSOY diet was fed at 2.2 kg/(d∙sow) and the other diets were fed at 2 kg(d∙sow). On d 22, sows were mixed in groups of 5 (at 1200 h). Behaviors in stalls (on d 1, 7, 14, and 21) and after mixing (d 22 and 23), heart rate (on d 1, 7, 14, and 21), blood metabolites (on d 2, 8, 15, 22, and 25), and the effects of diets on production were collected and analyzed. Sows stood more (P < 0.01) and rested less (P < 0.001) over time irrespective of the diet. Sows on BEETPULP stood more (P < 0.01) and sows on SOYHULLS rested more (P < 0.01). Sham chewing increased over days irrespective of the diet. Chewing behavior (bar and feeder) increased with days on diet (P < 0.001) and was lowest in sows on the SOYHULLS diet (P = 0.045). When mixed, biting frequency in the first hour was highest for sows on the CONTROL diet (236.5 ± 62.6) and lowest for sows on the RSTARCH diet (90.5 ± 30.5). Skin lesions increased (P < 0.001) 24 h after mixing sows irrespective of diet. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentration was lowest in sows fed BEETPULP and SOYHULLS (P < 0.001). Serum glucose concentration was highest in sows fed RSTARCH and BEETPULP (P = 0.04), but there was no day effect (P = 0.62) or diet × day interaction (P = 0.60). The NEFA was greatest in sows fed RSTARCH, BEETPULP, and SOYHULLS (P < 0.001). Lactate (P < 0.001) and BUN concentrations were greatest on d 2 but dropped and remained constant after d 8. Average heart rate was lowest for sows on SOYHULLS and INCSOY compared with sows on the other diets (P = 0.03). Number of piglets born and average weaning weight were not affected by diets (P > 0.05). Average birth weight was lowest in the INCSOY diet (P = 0.02). This study demonstrates that RSTARCH and SOYHULLS can improve the welfare of sows by reducing aggression and increasing satiety in limit-fed pregnant sows without affecting production.

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