Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): M.C. Meunier-Salaun, S.A. Edwards, and S. Robert
Publication Date: May 26, 2001
Reference: Animal Feed Science and Technology
Country: Canada


Gestating sows are often fed a restricted diet prior to farrowing to keep their body condition stable; however, the reduced diet often does not provide feelings of satiation. This can result in stereotypic, oral, and/or aggressive behaviours, and fails to provide sows with the freedom of normal behaviour (foraging). Providing a higher fibre diet, or additional high fibre feed can satisfy hunger, and reduce unwanted feeding behaviours. When fed a high fibre diet it was found sows spent an increased amount of time lying down, and total time spent on stereotypic behaviours was reduced. Lower pariety sows were more likely to reduce stereotypic behaviours, and the inclusion of straw reduced the behaviours further. High fibre diets increased time spent eating Рpartially because the sows spent more time masticating. As well, there was a lower feed intake rate and a lower feeding motivation. Aggression severity has been reportedly reduced with a high fibre diet, but aggression around the feed and any substrate can still persist. The effect of high fibre diets on farrowing is still debatable. There have been studies showing increased time lying on side, and increased prolactin levels, but no overall effect on piglet survival,weight,  litter size, or reduction of agalactia. High fibre diets do seem to increase feed intake during lactation, and increased digestibility of feed stuff. High fibre diets seem to provide some benefits on a nutritional level, but definitely help sows to eat closer to satiation. This helps to reduce stereotypic behaviours, express foraging behaviour, and improve sow welfare.

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