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Influence of dietary Valin supply on performance of lactating sows
In this study of the University Munich, the requirement of lactating sows for valine and the effects of graded valine supplementations on feed intake, milk yield and changes of body weight of sows and piglets were examined.

54 multiparous sows were followed over a total of 72 lactations (35 days). The sows were randomly assigned to six treatments (1-6). Each group received the same basic diet, covering the requirements of energy and nutrients except Val (4.5 g native Val, i.e. 3.5 g apparent ileal digestible Val).
Adding crystalline l-Val dietary Val concentrations of 5.5, 6.5, 8.5, 10.5 and 14.5 g/kg, respectively, were realized.
Feed intake of the sows was determined daily, body weight was determined on day 110 of gestation and day 1, 22 and 35 of lactation.

The piglets were weighed on day 1, 21 and 35. The intake of piglet feed, which was offered from day 21, was determined at day 35 for each litter. Milk yield was determined using the weigh-suckle-weigh-method at day 13, 14, 20 and 21, fat and protein contents were analysed in hand-milked samples with infrared spectroscopy.

Feed intake (kg/day) of the sows during lactation averaged 2.9, 4.3, 4.6, 4.6, 4.9 and 5.1 for treatments 1-6, respectively.
For treatments 1 and 2 body weight losses of the sows during lactation were higher (1207 and 805 g/day, respectively) and milk production was lower (7076 and 8686 g/day, respectively), compared with the average of treatments 3-6 (625 g/day body weight loss; 9263 g milk/day).

Daily weight gain of the piglets was also lower (146 and 171 g/day vs. 200 g/day) leading to lower weaning weights of 6.6 and 7.5 vs. 8.5 kg.

As a consistent growth depression of the piglets in Val deficiency must be assumed, at least 6.5 g Val corresponding to 5.5 g apparent ileal digestible Val per kg lactation feed must be recommended.

Source: Paulicks, B. R., Ott, H. & Roth-Maier, D. A. (2003): Performance of lactating sows in response to the dietary valine supply. In:
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 87 (11-12), 389-396.



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