Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Sow feed additive to increase progeny carcass weight


Sow feed additive to increase progeny carcass weight


We have isolated a novel sow feed additive that has been demonstrated to promote robust and durable piglet growth that would mean a significant increase in the output and value of saleable meat for commercial pig producers. Research undertaken by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) now SETU Waterford campus and Teagasc, Moorepark in Ireland has demonstrated that a microbial strain, which when fed to transition and lactating sows, significantly increased offspring carcass weight.



A 6-week feed supplementation trial involving 24 pregnant sows and 144 of their offspring, with the feed supplement administered to the sows daily was compared against a control treatment (standard lactation/gestation diet without the additive). Sows and offspring from both groups were continuously monitored at intervals from birth to slaughter. It was found that supplemented sows produced colostrum with a higher protein content. Piglets born to sows fed the microbial additive demonstrated fecal shedding of the strain while suckling, thereby demonstrating transfer of the microbial additive from sow to offspring demonstrating significant benefits to the offspring



Increased villous height in the small intestine at day 7-8 post-weaning (P<0.05) a key indicator of improved gut health Better feed conversion ratio (FCR) for the first 14 days post-weaning (P<0.001). Increased pig live-weight at day 105 and 127 postweaning (P<0.05). A numerical reduction in pre-weaning mortality (from 15.6 to 10.1%). An increased carcass weight, with offspring from supplemented sows being 3.5 kg heavier than offspring from untreated sows (P<0.05).



The research team are currently focusing commercial scale efficacy evaluation and scale-up of the manufacturing process coupled with product stability and shelf-life studies in line with market, business and regulatory requirements.



enterprise ireland logoTeagasc



Name - Dr. Karen Dawson, Teagasc TTO

Email - karen.dawson@teagasc.ie

Phone - +353 871770977



Sow feed additive to increase progeny carcass weight