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Title: Sow nutrition and piglet viability
Author: Davis, Hannah Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 4289
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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Selection for highly prolific sows which produce large litter sizes has resulted in an increased number of piglets with low viability which not only show poor pre-weaning growth but display reduced lifetime performance. Over recent years there has been growing interest into the leucine metabolite, β-hydroxy β-methyl butyrate (HMB), with regards to livestock production due to its involvement in protein turnover, lipolysis and immune function. The limited available published studies on the effects of HMB supplementation to sows in gestation suggest possible beneficial effects on litter and piglet performance to weaning as well as on colostrum production. However, the results are inconsistent, the doses and timings of supplementation ambiguous and the replication is low. Therefore, this research set out to determine the effects of supplementing sows with HMB, over the transition period, on litter and piglet performance to weaning and on colostrum production. In addition, this research aimed to establish the optimum dose and duration of HMB supplementation required across the transition period to optimise any beneficial effects. Through three separate feeding trials this research found that HMB supplementation to sows improved the overall pre-weaning performance of piglets. In addition, this work found that supplementing HMB to sows improved immunoglobulin concentrations in colostrum (IgG, IgA and IgM) in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, HMB supplementation increased sow colostrum yield and improved the colostrum intake of piglets which was reflected in improvements in early piglet growth. From this thesis it can be concluded that HMB supplementation to sows over the transition period improved overall piglet pre-weaning performance and the quality and quantity of colostrum produced. However, there were some inconsistencies between the results of individual trials, therefore more research is needed to establish reasons for this and to help further exploit the beneficial findings that were observed.
Supervisor: Miller, Helen M. Sponsor: University of Leeds ; ABN
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available