Lactating sow feeds: Nutritional strategies for improving feed intake, milk production and lifetime productivity

Published on: 09/25/2020
Author/s : Jannes Doppenberg, Ph.D. and Dr. Piet van der Aar / Schothorst Feed Research, Lelystad, the Netherlands.

Introduction Modern piglet production has continuously increased the amount of piglets born per sow year (PSY) through improving genetics, farm management and nutrition. In the Netherlands in 2016 on average 30.0 piglets were weaned per sow per year. This was achieved in 2.36 cycles with 14.7 piglets/litter born alive (PSY 34.7). With larger litters, the heterogeneity in birth weights increases a...

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September 25, 2020

Hello there, thanks for the review, enjoyed reading it. Similarly to what Danish researchers claim, it would be a good approach feeding two different diets in lactation, though probably management-wise is not the best. And you show some general recommendations, such as intermediary and low NSP levels: what could you elaborate a bit further and give some indications in % inclusion and even which iCHO/FCHO you would recommend? Many thanks as always from Spain. Rafa.

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September 25, 2020

Dear Rafael,

Indeed feeding two different feeds in the farrowing room is not easy unless two feed lines are installed. In most cases, it means feeding a transition or phase-1 feed by hand. In the Netherlands currently about 25% of the sow farmers are feeding a transition feed, in general from entering the farrowing room (day 108-109) till 5 days after farrowing. This leaves enough time for a smooth transition from the high NSP gestation feed to the high starch lactatin feed. (Danish research supports the effect of NSP's (both FCHO and ICHO) on reducing farrowing time and thereby increasing both sow and piglet vitality). Moreover, feed costs of the transition feed are about 5% lower than the lactation feed.


In general, the FCHO/ICHO ratio will be around 1.5/1.0. During transition we strife for 8% ICHO and in the lactation feed 7.5%. In a high NSP gestation (phase 2) feed the ICHO content will be 10%. Obviously, these types of feed are only attractive if NSP rich by-products are readily available, relatively cheap and of good quality (mycotoxins!).

Thanks for your reaction.

Jannes Doppenberg

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