High Fibre Diets – Satiety in Sows and Offspring Growth Performance
Feeding high fiber diets to sows during gestation is reported to play a positive role in the swine industry both in terms of animal welfare (improved satiety in feed-restricted pregnant sows) and production (increased weaning weight) during the gestation-lactation period. This study was designed to determine the effect of hydrothermal processing of straw on metabolic indicators of satiety, behavioral measures in group-housed gestating sows, and growth indicators of litter performance. Results indicated that adding 10% oat or wheat straw to the diet of sows in late gestation had no effect on feeding motivation, piglet characteristics at birth, estimated milk production, market weight or carcass quality of the off spring, regardless of processing. In addition, However, oat straw supplementation did influence sow endocrine and metabolic status in late gestating sows and improved lactation feed intake and litter body weight up to nursery exit. Overall, oat straw had the greatest impact on sow physiology, lactation feed intake, and litter weight gain.