Animal Science Department

 

Date of this Version

January 1968

Comments

Published in Journal of Animal Science 27:1503‑1506. Copyright © 1968 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.

Abstract

Fifty-two weanling pigs from six litters(Pond et al., 1968) were fed a standard 18% protein corn-soybean meal diet from weaning to slaughter. The six litters were from gilts paired on the basis of parturition date so that one gilt fed the control diet and one fed the “protein-free” diet (0.5% protein) from week 4 of pregnancy to parturition made tip each pair. Each dam was fed the control diet throughout lactation and nursed one-half of her own litter and one-half of a pairmate’s litter resulting from reciprocal transfer of one-half of each litter at birth. Individual bodyweight gains and feed consumption of each litter recorded from weaning to slaughter at 93 kg. revealed no differences associated with prenatal or preweaning treatment. Carcass backfat and cross-sectional area of the I. dorsi muscle between the 10th and 11th ribs also failed to reveal differences in carcass characteristics which could be considered as a crude index of muscle cell number as influenced by prenatal and early postnatal protein nutrition. It is concluded that in pigs the dam acts as an efficient “buffer” to at least partially protect the developing fetus against the effects of maternal protein deprivation during the final three-fourths of one gestation period.

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