Grasping at Straw to Boost Sow Milk Yield
Increasing sow milk yield is an important area of research since it helps with piglet growth. Sows are often aggressive due to restricted feeding so increasing satiety was investigated to see if performance was improved. Processing of straw improved the energy digestibility, with stronger effects found in oat straw compared to wheat straw. Providing diets with 10% straw improved satiety in the sows and higher weaning weights were seen in piglets, most likely due to an increase in milk production. An increased lactation feed intake was seen when fed oat straw as well, which is important since sows should consume more after farrowing. This research is easy to apply to commercial settings and can be done cheaply by supplying ground oat straw to sows in late gestation to improve sow milk yield.
Grasping at Straw to Boost Sow Milk Yield (full article)