Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in 1997 Nebraska Swine Report, edited by Duane Reese; published and copyright © 1997 Animal Science Department, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


An experiment was conducted with 30 lactating sows to determine the effects of high fat lactation diets on the body composition of suckling pigs and sow backfat composition. Sows were provided a lactation diet containing either zero or 10% tallow on an ad libitum basis for a 21-day lactation. No differences in feed intake during lactation were observed, although sows fed tallow consumed more metabolizable energy per day than control sows. Composition of backfat samples taken at weaning from sows suggested an increase in the amount of fatty acid synthesis in adipose tissue of control sows. Sows fed tallow weaned heavier litters, however, body composition of these pigs indicated this increased weight was almost exclusively fat. Additional research is required to determine the effects of this change in body composition in pigs at weaning on their subsequent performance and body composition.