Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 1982


Published in JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, Vol. 54, No. 1, 1982.Copyright American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


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.