Higher parity sows need higher nutrient levels
Recent research undertaken at the Purina Animal Nutrition Centre in Missouri, USA, has given
greater understanding of the vitamin and mineral requirements of gilts and sows. Although many
farms’ herd parity profiles are, on average, much younger compared to this study, the study did
produce some interesting information regarding parity 7+ sows.
Researchers analysed feed intake data from gilts and sows during lactation between 2004 -2010,
comparing season, parity and litter size. As expected, parity 1 individuals had the lowest intake,
but interestingly the next lowest feed take was seen with parity 7+ sows. Parity 3 and 4 sows had
the highest feed intake.
A sow’s bodyweight increases during the earlier parities of her productive life, but as feed intake
decreases beyond parity 4, older parity sows will consume few vitamins and minerals per unit body
weight compared to younger sows. In fact, a parity 5 sows will, on average, consume 43% fewer
vitamins and minerals per unit bodyweight compared to parity 1 individuals.
Further research into the feeding of higher density vitamin and mineral feeds for older sows
compared to the average industry levels is now being carried out.
Courtesy of Bishopton Vet Group; more info at www.bishoptonvets.co.uk