Date of this Version
A previous summary of research results indicated that sows fed high-fiber diets during gestation weaned 0.3 more pigs/litter on the average than sows fed lower-fiber, grain-based diets. Gestation diets containing 18% soybean hulls, 46% distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), 34% wheat midds, 25% wheat bran, 23% alfalfa meal, 25% sugar beet pulp, or 45% oats provide sows about 350 g/day of neutral detergent fiber (NDF), which may be sufficient to increase litter size weaned by 0.3 pigs per litter. An economic analysis suggests that feeding a diet containing these sources of NDF would increase sow feed ingredient costs from 0 to $22.35 per sow per gestation period compared to feeding a corn-soybean meal diet. No improvement in litter size at weaning was required to justify feeding DDGS at the ingredient prices assumed in this analysis. Small improvements in litter size (0.16 to 0.24 pigs per litter) would be necessary to justify feeding soybean hulls or wheat midds during gestation. Producers may be able to improve the profitability of their operation by using fibrous feed ingredients in sow gestation diets.