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Impact of Soybean Inclusion Level in Late Gestation on Offspring Performance

Loucks, A., D. van Sambeek and E. Hines

Inclusion of soybean meal (SBM) in gestation diets has been decreasing as producers replace amino acid sources with more cost-effective ingredients. In particular, SBM components have been associated with immunoglobulin production and increased nutrition in late gestation has been associated with limited growth performance increases. Yet, it is unknown if SBM inclusion levels in late gestation diets influences offspring growth during the lactation and nursery phases. Therefore, the objective of this project is to investigate the impact of SBM inclusion rates in late gestation on offspring performance. Sows (n = 63) were assigned to one of four diets, 14 days prior to farrowing: A (n = 13; 0% SBM, 13.5% crude protein (CP), B (n = 16; 10% SBM, 13.5% CP), C (n = 17; 30% SBM, 21.5% CP), D (n = 17; 0% SBM, 21.5% CP). Growth performance of piglets was evaluated during lactation. Piglets per diet: A (n = 170), B (n = 183), C (n = 200), D (n = 228). Body weights were recorded daily from birth through d10 of lactation then at d15 and every 7 days until weaning. Colostrum and milk at d15 were evaluated for immunoglobulin concentration. After weaning, weights were recorded at two-week intervals during the nursery phase. No significant effect of gestation diet was observed for birth weight (P = 0.27) or ADG from day 0 to weaning (P = 0.78). Wean weight (WW), post-wean weight 1 (PW1), and post-wean weight 2 (PW2) were not different across dietary treatments (P > 0.28). Immunoglobulin production was similar across diets.

These results suggest that the inclusion rate of SBM content in the last 14 days of gestation has no impact on offspring performance. Continued research is needed into understanding the impact of nutritional status of the sow during gestation on long-term offspring performance.