Precision Feeding of Gestating Sows: Use of Electronic Sow Feeders to Reduce Feed Costs and Nutrient Losses into the Environment, While Improving Sow Productivity and Welfare - Ontario Pork - Active Research
Thursday, August 13, 2020
    

Active Research

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals once a year. These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Cristiane Mesquita at cristiane.mesquita@ontariopork.on.ca.


Active Research

Precision Feeding of Gestating Sows: Use of Electronic Sow Feeders to Reduce Feed Costs and Nutrient Losses into the Environment, While Improving Sow Productivity and Welfare

Precision Feeding of Gestating Sows: Use of Electronic Sow Feeders to Reduce Feed Costs and Nutrient Losses into the Environment, While Improving Sow Productivity and Welfare

Project 16-004 - Researchers: Ira Mandell and Lee-Ann Huber, University of Guelph

Researcher: Ira Mandell and Lee-Ann Huber, University of Guelph
Funding approved 2016 but the project start was delayed until 2018 due to the University of Guelph competition for the Swine Nutritionist Faculty position.

A 3 year study will be conducted to examine long-term benefits for closely meeting the changing nutrient requirements of individual sows during gestation and across parities, managed in a group housing system and using computer controlled electronic sow feeders (ESF).  The study will compare sow growth performance, welfare, reproductive performance, behaviour and body condition when the ESF are used to manage two different feeding programs. In program 1 sows will be fed a conventional, one-phase feeding program throughout gestation (this is the control group) and in program 2 there will be adjustment of the daily feeding levels and nutrient-to-energy ratios for individual sows as nutrient demands change throughout gestation (Precision Fed group). Sow lactation performance will also be monitored for 3 consecutive parities. Resulting litters selected from each of the sow feeding regimens will be followed until slaughter weight (~125kg) when growth performance, robustness (susceptibility to a pathogen challenge in the starter phase), and comprehensive carcass and meat quality evaluation will be completed.  Estimated nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon balance during gestation and lactation and margin over feed costs will be determined to assess impacts on the environment and producer profitability.

The ultimate goal of this work is to examine how sow management using ESF can influence lifetime sow productivity and retention in the herd, and carry-over effects on to her progeny.  


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