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Effect of reduced dietary protein level on energy metabolism, sow body composition and metabolites in plasma, milk and urine from gestating and lactating organic sows during temperate winter conditions

Eskildsen, Maria; Krogh, Uffe Pinholt; Sørensen, Martin Tang; Kongsted, A.G. and Theil, Peter K. (2020) Effect of reduced dietary protein level on energy metabolism, sow body composition and metabolites in plasma, milk and urine from gestating and lactating organic sows during temperate winter conditions. [Effekt af reduceret protein niveau på energi metabolisme, kropskomposition og metabolitter i plasma, mælk og urin fra drægtige og lakterende søer om vinteren i tempereret klimazone.] Livestock Science, 240, p. 104088.

[thumbnail of 2020 Eskildsen et al. Økosøer om vinteren.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871141320301785


Energy spent on thermoregulation and the opportunity for increased locomotive activity increases the energy requirements of outdoor relative to indoor housed sows, whilst their protein requirement most likely is comparable on a daily basis. The purpose of this study was to quantify the energy needed for maintenance, maternal retention, milk production, thermoregulation and increased locomotive activity in organic sows. A total of 47 gilts (Landrace x Yorkshire; 190 kg at insemination) were reared outdoor under organic conditions for five months during winter. To study dietary effects of protein, gilts were fed one of two iso-energetic compound feeds, where dietary protein differed by 12%. Gilts had ad libitum access to grass clover silage and were fed similar amounts of metabolisable energy (ME) from compound feed equivalent to the energy recommendations for indoor sows + 15% in both groups. Collection of plasma and urine was performed on d60 and d100 of gestation and plasma, urine and milk was collected on d5, d20 and d40 of lactation. On all collection days, sows and piglets (n=635) were weighed individually, sows were back fat scanned and heartrate and locomotive activity was registered with a tracking system. Sow body composition was estimated using the deuterium dilution technique. Live weight and back fat thickness were not affected by the dietary protein level, neither was the number of total born, still born, piglet birth weight or piglet weight gain until weaning at seven weeks (14.5 kg). There was no effect of protein level on locomotive activity. Milk yield peaked with 12.9 kg/d around d20. In total, 58% of the gross energy intake was associated with milk production at d20 including heat. Milk energy output was 69 MJ ME/d at peak lactation at d20. Sows fed the low protein compound feed had a lower milk yield from d20 to d40 as compared with control fed sows (8.0 vs.10.3 kg/d; P<0.05). In conclusion, the daily feed intake was clearly insufficient in early lactation, and sows lost > 1 kg of body fat/d from d5-d20. The daily protein- and amino acid requirements were met during pregnancy, also when sows were fed the low protein compound feed, but the low protein diet supplied insufficient standardised ileal digestible lysine during lactation and this compromised the milk production. The total energy requirement of high yielding first parity outdoor sows during a mild winter was found to be ~ 68 MJ ME/d in gestation and ~153 MJ ME/d at peak lactation.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Feed intake, Heat production, Locomotive activity, Milk production, Mobilization, Thermoregulation
Agrovoc keywords:
feed intake
milk production
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology > Department of Animal Science
Denmark > Innovation Fund Denmark > EFFORT
Deposited By: Jakobsen, Malene
ID Code:39825
Deposited On:01 Jun 2021 07:32
Last Modified:01 Jun 2021 07:32
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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