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J Anim Sci. 1993 Nov;71(11):3011-9.

Effects of adding medium-chain triglycerides to sow diets during late gestation and early lactation on litter performance.

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  • 1Animal and Dairy Science Department, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


This experiment was conducted to determine whether feeding medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) to sows during late gestation and early lactation would improve neonatal pig survival. Beginning on d 91 of gestation and continuing through d 7 of lactation, sows were fed isoenergetic (7,000 kcal of ME/d) and isonitrogenous (278 g of CP/d) amounts of either control (19% starch, 2% soybean oil), long-chain triglycerides (LCT, soybean oil, 12%), or MCT (10% MCT, 2% soybean oil) diets. Sows (n = 18, 19, and 17, respectively) were induced to farrow on d 112 of gestation. Litters were weighed at birth, before suckling, and on d 1, 3, 7, and 21 of lactation. There was no effect of treatment on average pig weight at any time and no difference in the number of live pigs at birth. Beginning on d 3 (P < .05) and continuing through weaning (d 21, P < .02) survival was improved in litters from sows fed MCT relative to litters from sows fed the control diet. Overall survival rates were 80, 81, and 90% in control, LCT, and MCT groups, respectively. The greatest improvement in survival was observed in pigs weighing < 900 g at birth. Survival of pigs in this weight range was 32, 53, and 68% in control, LCT, and MCT treatments, respectively. Although feeding MCT resulted in an increase in content of medium-chain fatty acids in milk, these accounted for < 5% of the fatty acids in milk and likely cannot account for the improved survival rate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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