Animal Science Department


First Advisor

Thomas E. Burkey

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Thomas E. Burkey. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2017.

Copyright (c) 2017 Shana Marie Barnett


Two experiments were conducted at separate times to evaluate the effects of sow dietary treatment on piglet growth performance. One experiment solely focused on the growth performance of parity 1 piglets from gilt batches 5 through 13. The other experiment focused on growth performance of piglets from batch 14, parity 1, as well as, analysis of growth biomarkers, GLP-2 and Insulin. Milk samples from sows of each dietary treatment were collected and analyzed for oligosaccharide composition, nutrient composition, and insulin levels.

The first experiment utilized 733 sows that were fed either a restricted (RESTR) of ad libitum (ADLIB) diet during the gilt development stage of days 123-240. Piglets weaned from gilts that were fed a RESTR diet during the development stage had a greater weaning weight compared to those piglets weaned from gilts that were on an ADLIB diet during the development stage. Growth performance of piglets may be correlated with a sows diet before she is pregnant and body score during early gestation.

In the second experiment sows were on three dietary treatments during their development stage, which consisted of 1) Control diet formulated to NRC (2012) specifications (CTL); 2) Restricted (20% energy restriction via addition of 40% soy hulls; RESTR); and 3) Control diet plus addition of crystalline amino acids equivalent to the SID Lys:ME of the RESTR diet (CTL+). Once again we saw that sows that were on the RESTR diet weaned larger piglets and the trend continued for these piglets into the end of grower phase. Furthermore, milk samples were obtained from sows on d 0 and 14 post-farrowing for analysis of N, DM, GE and milk insulin, and piglet blood samples were obtained on d 1 and 15 for quantification of GLP-2 and insulin. In conclusion, different nutritional diets of the developing gilt may impact piglet serum biomarkers during lactation and overall growth performance of the piglet.

Advisor: Thomas E. Burkey