Date of this Version
Four trials were conducted with a total of 188 crossbred sows to determine the effect of feeding diets supplemented with tallow (0 or 8%) and choline chloride (220 or 770 mg/kg diet) prior to parturition and during lactation on preweaning pig performance. On d 100 of gestation, sows were allotted to four factorially arranged dietary treatments: 0% tallow-220 mg/kg choline chloride, 0% tallow-770 mg/kg choline chloride, 8% tallow-220 mg/kg choline chloride, 8% tallow-770 mg/kg choline chloride. Diets without tallow were fed at the rate of 1.82 kg/d with an additional .18 kg/d of cornstarch, whereas sows receiving diets supplemented with tallow were fed 1.82 kg/d. Daily metabolizable energy intake was constant for all diets (approximately 6,240 kcal). Following parturition, the diets were fed ad libiturn for a 21-d lactation period. Pig survival to 21 d, in relation to the number of pigs born alive/litter, did not differ significantly between litters from sows receiving tallow (94.0%) and litters from sows receiving the control diet (92.5%). Although not significantly different, there was a trend toward slightly heavier pigs (6.35 vs 6.11 kg) and litters (53.97 vs 51.94 kg) after the 21-d lactation period in the groups nursing sows receiving tallow-supplemented diets. Litter performance was not improved by the addition of choline to sows' diets. A second study was conducted to measure the effect of energy source on milk yield and composition. Twelve crossbred sows were allotted to two dietary treatments (0 and 8% tallow), each supplemented with 770 mg choline chloride/kg of diet. The composition of colostrum and milk was determined on d 0, 9 and 18, and milk yield was measured on d 12 and 19. Throughout the lactation period, sows fed the tallow supplemented diet produced higher concentrations of total milk solids (22.15%, P<.10) and fat (14.9%, P<.01) than the control group (21.37 and 12.0%, respectively). Milk protein content, averaged over the lactation period, was lower (P<.10) for sows receiving tallow (8.60 vs 9.22%); however, the depression appeared to be related to the colostrum samples, because values for the two treatment groups were similar on d 9 and 18. The mean milk yield was 9.44 kg/d for sows receiving tallow and 8.72 kg/d for those fed the control diet. Therefore, not only did sows in the tallow group produce a greater concentration of milk solids and fat, but the total quantity of the milk constituents available to the offspring was increased.