Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE 61 (1985), pp. 1164-1171.


Copyright © 1985 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


A total of 146 primiparous sows was used in four replications of an experiment to investigate the effect of energy intake during a 28-d lactation on sow and litter performance. Dietary treatments consisted of three energy intakes; 10, 12 or 14 Mcal of metabolizable energy (ME)·sow– 1 ·d–1. All sows were fed equal amounts of crude protein, vitamins and minerals daily, which met or exceeded standard recommendations. The experiment was initiated at parturition. Sow weight and backfat loss during lactation decreased linearly (P<.001) as energy intake increased. There were no differences in litter size at either 14 d of lactation or weaning. Pig weights on d 14 increased linearly (P<.05) and litter weights tended to increase linearly (P=.13) as energy intake increased. At weaning, pig weights and litter weights increased (P<.05) as sow energy intake increased. There were no significant differences in the percentages of sows in estrus by 7, 14, 21 and 70 d postweaning, but sows fed 10 Mcal ME/d had a slightly longer interval from weaning to first estrus than sows fed higher energy intakes. Serum urea concentrations of sows were inversely related to energy intake during lactation. Serum creatinine concentrations were not affected by energy intake. An intake of 10 Mcal ME/d by primiparous sows during a 28-d lactation resulted in reduced sow and litter performance; there was little difference between sows fed 12 and 14 Mcal ME/d.

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