Effect of Dietary Calcium and Phosphorus in Sows
This study was designed to determine the influence of Ca and P intake by young, gestating sows on the growth and skeletal development of their developing piglets and if smaller birthweight piglets are at greater risk from mineral insufficiency during gestation. A total of 30 sows were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 dietary Ca:P treatments. At birth, the smallest and a normal-sized piglet from each litter were euthanized, and the left femur extracted for peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) scanning. Number of piglets born, body weight (BW) at 3 d of age, and piglet ADG were unaffected by diet. At birth, the highest serum Ca level was seen in the small piglets from sows fed a high Ca diet however, at weaning, this value had the smallest change from the initial value. Femurs of piglets from sows fed the low Ca diet had the highest cortical density. Piglet size had no effect on cortical density. Bone ash %, ash Ca %, ash P %, and serum bone markers were unaffected by diet or piglet size.