Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science

First Advisor

Crystal Levesque


Gestation, Lactation, Offspring, Oxidative, Stress, Performance, Swine


Times of high metabolic activity in gestation and lactation, as well as periods of stress at weaning, can lead to greater incidences of oxidative stress in the dam and offspring during the suckling and post-weaning period. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between prooxidant molecules and the antioxidant defense system that can negatively impact growth and/or reproductive performance. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of a yeast cell wall component (Citristim, ADM Nutrition, Quincy, IL), peppermint oil, and ɣ-tocopherol in gestation and lactation diets to alleviate the impact of oxidative stress on maternal reproductive and offspring growth performance from gestation to market. A total of 98 primiparous and multiparous females and their 1,086 offspring were used. In study 1, 45 sows and gilts (240.7 ± 38.5 kg BW) were assigned to one of 4 diets [Control diet (CON), control + yeast cell at 0.2% (YC), control + mint oil top dress at 10 ppm (MO), and control + yeast cell and mint oil top dress (YCMO)] provided from d110 of gestation through to weaning. Weaned offspring were randomly allotted to pens balanced by weight and litter (n=15-17 pens/treatment) within maternal treatment and received the same dietary treatment as the sow during the suckling phase for 35 d post-wean in a 4-phase feeding regimen. In study 2, 53 primiparous and multiparous dams (206.21 ± 35.26 kg BW) were allotted to 4 diet regimens [Control (CON), control + yeast cell top dress at 0.15% (YC), control + mint oil top dress at 10 ppm (MO), and control + ɣ-tocopherol top dress at 200 ppm (GT)] from d5 post-breeding through to weaning. At weaning, piglets were randomly allotted to pens (n=11-19 pens/treatment), balanced by weight and litter within maternal treatment and fed a common diet for 126 d post-wean in a 9-phase feeding regimen. After d29 postwean in study 2, performance of only pigs deemed light (7.25 kg) at weaning were followed to d126. Maternal dietary treatment did not impact sow BW, feed intake, piglet birth weight, and litter size in either study. Sows provided the YCMO diet in study 1 tended to have greater BF (P < 0.10) than YC sows at trial start and maintained a greater BF through to weaning. Superoxide dismutase activity in sow sera, colostrum, and milk did not differ between diets in either study. In study 1, glutathione content in milk tended to be lower (P < 0.10) in MO than YCMO sows with CON and YC intermediate. However, glutathione content in colostrum and d4 and 14 milk samples did not differ by maternal treatment in study 2. At weaning, piglets from YC sows were heavier (P < 0.05) than CON animals in study 1, while in study 2 piglets from GT-fed sows tended to be heavier (P < 0.10) at weaning than YC piglets both due to differences in daily gain. In the post-wean period for study 1, overall daily gain was greater (P < 0.05) for CON-fed pigs than YCMO pigs with overall feed intake greater (P < 0.05) for YCMO than MO resulting in lower (P < 0.05) gain:feed in YCMO-fed pigs vs CON and MO. In study 2, lightweight pigs from CON sows tended to be lighter (P < 0.10) than pigs from all other treatment groups at weaning and d29 post-wean due to differences in daily gain. Lightweight MO and GT pigs were heavier at d42 (P < 0.05) than CON and YC pigs. At d70 post-wean, GT pigs tended to be heavier than CON pigs, with YC and MO intermediate. Lightweight pigs from MO sows had greater gain (P < 0.05) during the finishing period than all other treatment groups, with GT pigs gaining less. There were no detectable differences in BW during the finishing phase among treatments in heavyweight pigs, however, CON pigs tended (P < 0.10) to gain the least. Based on weight category distribution at d6 post-wean a larger percentage of heavy weight YC-fed pigs remained heavy compared to CON-fed pigs in study 1. A greater percentage of lightweight pigs provided the MO diets post-wean were average at the end of the trial period for study 1, with a lesser percentage of MO pigs deemed lightweight at d29 postwean and a larger percentage classified as average in study 2. Inclusion of either test ingredient in both gestation and lactation diets did not impact sow performance with marginal influence on antioxidant status. Exposure to YC and GT during the suckling phase resulted in heavier offspring. However, prenatal and postnatal exposure to MO potentially provided lasting benefits to light-weight pigs resulting in these animals becoming average wean post-wean up to market. Addition of phytochemical oils, particularly mint oil, in gestation and or lactation diet may be advantageous in improving offspring performance from birth to market.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Growth.
Oxidative stress.
Vitamin E in animal nutrition.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright