Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science

First Advisor

George W. Libal


Mortality among young pigs prior to weaning is extremely high with swine producers frequently realizing a death loss of 25% of the pigs farrowed. The majority of these deaths occur within 3 d postfarrowing and can be attributed to being born weak crushed by the dam starvation and chilling. Generally, these causes are the result of the inability of the baby pig during the first few days of life to adequately meet its metabolic energy requirements for sustaining vital body functions. The neonatal pig until about 3 to 4 d of age has a difficult time adjusting to those environmental stresses which require high levels of energy since it is born with limited body stores of metabolizable fat and can make only limited use of dietary fat. Considerable research interest has been shown in recent years in developing methods by which increased adipose tissue would be deposited in the fetal pig and in stimulating the development of the digestive system of the fetal pig to enhance utilization of fat in the sow's milk shortly after farrowing. This study was designed to alter the normal dietary energy intake of the gestating sow/gilt by feeding a typical gestation diet supplemented with additional fat by feeding a diet that contained fat as the only digestible caloric nutrient by feeding a diet that was essentially noncaloric in nature and by fasting. The objectives of this study were as follows: 1. To determine the effect of altering the dietary energy intake of the gestating sow/gilt on the changes in body weight, serum glucose level and serum free fatty acids (FFA) level during late gestation. 2. To determine the effect of altering energy intake of the dam during late gestation on gestation length and on the number of live pigs born, number of stillborns in the litter, total litter weight and average pig weight at farrowing. 3. To determine the effect of energy intake by the dam during late gestation on. plasma fructose, serum glucose and serum free fatty acid levels in the neonatal pig at parturition. 4. To examine the litter performance at 3-d post farrowing as related to dietary energy intake during late gestation by measuring pig survival, total litter weight and pig weight.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sows -- Feed utilization efficiency
Sows -- Reproduction
Swine -- Losses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State