The present study investigated the effects of different feeding levels during 3 short periods of gestation on sow and litter performance and its impact on subsequent reproductive performance. A total of 160 multiparous sows were allotted to 1 of 4 dietary treatments using a randomized complete block design with initial body weight (BW) and backfat (BF) as the blocking criteria. All sows were fed one common corn-soybean meal-based diet with the amount of 1.0 × maintenance energy intake (100 × BW0.75 kcal ME/d) throughout gestation except 3 periods of 7 d when dietary treatments were imposed on d 27, d 55 and d 83 of gestation. During the 3 short periods, sows were fed 1 of 4 different feeding levels: 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 × maintenance energy level (0.5 M, 1.0 M, 1.5 M and 2.0 M, respectively). Results showed that both BW gain (16.12, 24.74, 30.62 and 36.71 kg, respectively) and BF change (−0.27, 0.99, 1.49 and 2.45 mm, respectively) from d 27 to 109 of gestation increased linearly (P < 0.01) with the increase of gestation feeding levels. In contrast, with the rise of gestation feeding levels, lactation BW gain (14.31, 9.84, 7.09 and 3.50 kg, respectively) decreased linearly (P < 0.01), while BF loss during lactation (−0.79, −0.92, −1.12 and −1.57 mm, respectively) increased linearly (P = 0.05). Additionally, average daily feed intake during lactation (7.05, 7.00, 6.91 and 6.52 kg, respectively) tended to decrease linearly (P = 0.09) in response to the increase of gestation feeding levels. Furthermore, piglet birth weights increased linearly (P < 0.01) with the increase of gestation feeding levels, while piglet weaning weights were similar (P > 0.10) among treatments. Subsequent reproductive performance was not affected (P > 0.10) by feeding levels during the previous reproductive cycle. In conclusion, increasing feeding levels during 3 short periods of gestation increased BW and BF gains during gestation and caused less BW gain and more BF loss during lactation due to the reduction of lactation feed intake in response to increasing gestation feeding levels. Increasing feeding levels during 3 short periods of gestation increased piglet birth weight, but did not affect piglet weaning weight. The feeding strategies in the current reproductive cycle did not impact subsequent reproductive performance. It was estimated that requirements of 1.20 M, 0.66 M and 0.65 M feeding levels were needed to maintain a constant BW during d 27–34, d 55–62 and d 83–90 of gestation, respectively, indicating current maintenance energy requirement may underestimate the actual maintenance energy requirement in the early gestation, but overestimate the actual maintenance energy requirement in the mid and late gestation.
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V.
- Feeding levels
- Litter performance
- Sow performance