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Title: The effects of perinatal nutrition on growth and development in the pig
Author: Ratcliffe, Brian
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1982
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The literature concerning the effects of perinatal nutrition on subsequent growth and development has been reviewed. It seems that there may be periods during early life when nutrition may permanently disturb the pattern of subsequent development. Two experiments were designed to examine the effects of perinatal nutrition on subsequent growth and development in the pig. In the first, piglets of low birthweight were made to grow very slowly to 15 kg at 20 weeks of age. This was achieved by restricting their access to the sow to 12 h each d during the suckling period and after weaning by providing a restricted amount of a good quality diet. Their well-fed littermates served as controls and they reached 15 kg at 7 weeks of age. Subsequent to 15 kg live weight both groups of pigs had free access to the same good quality diet. The undernourished piglets displayed compensatory growth and the males took 10 d less than the control males to reach 75 kg from 15 kg whereas undernourished females reached this weight in nearly 19 d less than their control counterparts. This increased rate of gain was associated with a marked increase in the rate of feed intake such that the undernourished pigs ate 20-30% more each day throughout the recovery period. There was a slight increase in the rate of gain of the lean body mass but this did not reach levels of significance. The major contribution to the increased growth rate was an increase in the rate of gain of body lipid in the order of 40-60% above the rates of the control pigs. This resulted in the initial fat differences which had been apparent at 15 kg diminishing over the recovery period and tending to be reversed at the higher slaughter weights. It was concluded that undernutrition in early life did not affect the proportional development of the lean body mass and that fat deficits could be readily supplemented when feed was freely available in the recovery period. It was not possible to state whether the increased fatness observed in the previously undernourished individuals at 75 kg was a temporary overshoot or an indication of a tendency towards greater adiposity in adult life. The second experiment, used piglets weaned at birth. There were two nutritional regimes, one designed to induce obesity utilizing high energy:low protein diets (Ob) and the other providing more conventional diets to serve as a control (C). At 15 kg, the Ob pigs had 100-200% more body lipid than the C. After this weight both groups were allowed free access to the same good quality diet. The Ob group responded to their obesity by eating less and growing more slowly than the C. Ob males took 10 d longer than C males to reach the final slaughter weight of 70 kg and the Ob females took 15 d longer than their control counterparts to reach this weight. The Ob group ate 10% less each d than the C. The rates of gain of all body tissues were retarded to similar extents and the absolute differences in fatness at 15 kg persisted throughout the period to 70 kg. By the time the Ob pigs had reached 70 kg the extra amount of body lipid had become an almost insignificant proportion of total body lipid and the relative differences in fatness between the Ob and C groups had diminished greatly. It is concluded that perinatal nutrition has no permanent effect on the proportional development of the lean body mass and major effects on the lipid reserves in early life result in insignificant differences in fatness at 70-75 kg.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available