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Corowa New South Wales, Australia

Hung A.T.,University of Melbourne | Leury B.J.,University of Melbourne | Sabin M.A.,University of Melbourne | Collins C.L.,Rivalea Australia Pty. Ltd. | Dunshea F.R.,University of Melbourne
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2014

Chromium (Cr) is an essential mineral element and has been used in pig diets to improve growth performance, insulin sensitivity, immune response and carcase traits and to reduce heat or other stress responses. The aims of thiss study were to determine the impact of nano-sized chromium tripicolinate (nCrPic) on growth performance, feed efficiency and carcase characteristics of finisher gilts during the summer period. A total of 60 finisher Large White x Landrace gilts were stratified on initial weight and then within strata randomly allocated into two treatment groups in three replicates during mid-summer for 28 days. All pigs were housed in individual pens and had ad libitum access to feed and water. Pigs were fed either a control finisher diet (wheat-based diet containing 13.8 MJ digestible energy (DE) per kilogram and 0.56 g available lysine/MJ DE) or a control diet containing 400 ppb Cr as nCrPic. Dietary nCrPic supplementation increased feed intake by 6 % over the entire study (P = 0.05). In particular, dietary nCrPic increased average daily feed intake (ADFI) by 8 % (P = 0.02) during the final 2 weeks of the study. Moreover, dietary nCrPic tended to improve average daily feed (ADFI) over the entire study (P = 0.09). However, there were no significant effects of nCrPic on feed conversion ratio (FCR), final weight, hot standard carcase weight (HCWT), P2 depth or dressing percentage. Plasma cortisol was decreased by 25 % (P = 0.06) by dietary nCrPic supplementation. However, there were no effects of nCrPic on plasma glucose, insulin and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), might because of the higher feed intake. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that dietary nCrPic supplementation at 400 ppb can increase feed intake in finisher gilts during mid-summer, suggesting that nCrPic can ameliorate some of the negative effects of heat stress in pigs, possibly via decreased of circulating cortisol. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Van Wettere W.H.E.J.,University of Adelaide | Smits R.J.,Rivalea Australia Pty. Ltd. | Hughes P.E.,Pig and Poultry Production Institute
Animal Production Science | Year: 2013

Maternal intake of B-vitamin and methyl donors can affect sow prolificacy. A total of 1079 Large White/Landrace sows (parities 2-9 at mating) were used in a 2 by 2 by 2 factorial design to determine the effects of two levels of betaine supplementation (0 versus 3 g added betaine/kg feed), two levels of folic acid plus vitamin B12 supplementation (0 versus 20 mg/kg folic acid plus 150 g/kg vitamin B12) during gestation, and two parity groups (parity 2 and 3 versus parity 4 and greater) on litter size and pregnancy outcomes. The number of sows returning to oestrus post-insemination, as well as the number of early (Day 30) and late (Day 30) pregnancy losses were recorded. At farrowing, the total number of piglets born, the number of piglets born alive and dead, as well as the number of mummified fetuses were recorded. Pre-prandial blood samples were collected from a subset of 20 sows/treatment on Days 3, 30 and 107 of gestation to analyse homocysteine. The incidence of early pregnancy loss was reduced (P 0.001) by folic acid plus vitamin B12 supplementation (0.03 versus 0.07). There was a significant interaction between parity at mating (parities 2 and 3 versus parity 4 and greater) and the addition of betaine or folic acid plus vitamin B12 to the gestation diet on litter size. Litter size was higher (0.5 piglets; P 0.05) for betaine supplemented, compared with unsupplemented, parity 4 plus sows. Folic acid plus vitamin B12-supplemented parity 2 and 3 sows gave birth to more (P 0.05) piglets than all other treatment groups. Folic acid plus vitamin B12 supplementation decreased (P 0.001) plasma homocysteine concentration by 2.2 and 2.8 M, respectively, on Days 3 and 107 of gestation. However, betaine supplementation decreased (P 0.05) homocysteine on Day 3 only. Overall, folic acid plus vitamin B12 supplementation decreased incidences of early pregnancy failure and increased litter size in early parity sows, while betaine increased litter size in older parity sows.

Smits R.J.,Rivalea Australia Pty. Ltd. | Henman D.J.,Rivalea Australia Pty. Ltd. | King R.H.,RHK Consulting Pty Ltd
Animal Production Science | Year: 2013

In an experiment designed to evaluate the lactation and reproductive response to increasing energy in lactation, 288 pregnant nulliparous sows were allocated to diets formulated to contain: 13.0, 13.6, 14.2, 14.7 or 15.3 MJ digestible energy (DE)/kg of diet fed. Sows commenced their dietary regimen at 109.6 0.1 days of gestation. Sows were fed 3 kg/day of their treatment diet before farrowing, then diets were offered ad libitum until weaning at 26.9 0.1 days. Sows were fed a commercial diet postweaning until mating and throughout their subsequent gestation. There was no effect of dietary energy level on first-litter size born (10.5 0.1 liveborn) or average piglet birthweight (1.44 0.01 kg). Sow ad libitum feed intake during lactation was also unaffected by dietary energy level. There was no linear or quadratic response to dietary energy level on litter gain during lactation (1.79 0.03 kg/day). Consequently sows lost weight during lactation in an inverse linear response to dietary energy level (P 0.001) and sow weaning weight and backfat P2 increased with energy level (181 kg and 16.1 mm at 13.1 MJ DE/kg versus 191 kg and 17.2 mm at 15.3 MJ DE/kg, respectively, P 0.05). The proportion of sows staying in the herd until their second litter and the cumulative litter size over two parities was maximised when sows were fed a lactation diet containing at least 14.2 MJ DE/kg (P 0.05). Increasing the dietary energy content of lactation diets resulted in an improvement in sow productivity over their early parities, but did not increase lactation performance.

Lealiifano A.K.,Rivalea Australia Pty. Ltd. | Pluske J.R.,Murdoch University | Nicholls R.R.,Animal Research and Development | Dunshea F.R.,University of Melbourne | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to evaluate whether altering the timing of the secondary antigonadotropin- releasing factor (GnRF) immunization closer to slaughter in male finishing pigs would reduce the increase in P2 fat depth (6.5 cm from the midline over the last rib), while still limiting the incidence of boar taint. Entire male pigs are immunized against GnRF to reduce the concentration of testicular steroids that in turn limits the incidence of boar taint. Additionally, testicle measurements and color measurements were taken to examine whether they could be used to differentiate nonimmunized entire males from immunized male pigs. A total of 175 Large White × Landrace entire male pigs aged 16 wk (59 kg of BW) were used in a completely randomized design with 5 treatment groups based on the time that pigs received the secondary immunization before slaughter. Pigs were housed in groups of 7 and randomly allocated to 1 of 5 treatments with 5 replicates per treatment. The treatment groups were as follows: no secondary immunization before slaughter, and the secondary immunization given at 2, 3, 4, or 6 wk before slaughter. The P2 fat depth levels were reduced (P = 0.054) with the secondary immunization closer to slaughter (11.7, 11.3, 12.8, 12.6, and 13.7 mm for no secondary immunization, secondary immunization at 2, 3, 4, and 6 wk before slaughter, respectively). Androstenone concentration did not exceed the generally accepted industry sensory threshold of 1.0 μg/g of fat, and both androstenone concentration in the adipose tissue and testosterone concentrations in the blood were suppressed (P < 0.001) in all immunized pigs regardless of timing of the secondary immunization compared with pigs that did not receive the secondary immunization. Skatole concentration of all pigs in the experiment did not exceed the generally accepted industry sensory threshold of 0.2 μg/g. Testes weight was reduced (P < 0.001) with increased time between slaughter and the secondary immunization. Immunized pigs, regardless of time before slaughter, had greater L* (lightness) and b* (yellowness) color of the testicle surface (P < 0.001 and P = 0.020, respectively), and less a* (redness) color compared with entire males (P < 0.001). The study provides further evidence of the efficacy of the anti-GnRF immunization and indicates that the secondary immunization can be moved closer to slaughter, while still limiting the incidence of boar taint. Testicle measurements and color measurements together could provide a method of discrimination between carcasses from immunized entire males clear of boar taint and tainted carcasses. © 2011 American Society of Animal Science.

Newman R.E.,University of Sydney | Downing J.A.,University of Sydney | Thomson P.C.,University of Sydney | Collins C.L.,Rivalea Australia Pty. Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2014

Three studies investigated the effect of feeding strategy on production performance and endocrine status of growing pigs. For Experiment 1, 20 entire male pigs (70.0 ± 4.6 kg) were allocated randomly to individual pens in one of four climate-controlled rooms. Pigs were fed for 23 days either ad libitum or entrained to feed bi-phasically for two 90-min periods. For Experiment 2, 20 entire male pigs (41.2 ± 3.5 kg) were housed as per Experiment 1. Pigs were fed for 49 days either ad libitum or fed bi-phasically for two 60-min periods. For Experiment 3, 100 female pigs (66.1 ± 3.5 kg) were randomly allocated to individual pens within a commercial piggery and fed for 42 days either ad libitum or bi-phasically for two 60-min periods. Ear vein catheters were inserted into 10 pigs from each group and hourly blood samples were collected for 24 h in Experiments 1 and 2 and for 11 h in Experiment 3. Plasma insulin, non-esterified fatty acid and glucose concentrations were determined in Experiments 1 and 2, and glucose and insulin concentrations in Experiment 3. Feed intake and performance were recorded in all experiments and carcass composition was assessed by computed tomography for Experiment 2. There were no differences in final liveweight between the two treatment groups for all experiments. Pigs fed for two 90-min periods (Experiment 1) showed no difference in feed intake when compared with feeding ad libitum. Pigs in Experiment 2 fed for two 60-min intervals consumed 2.49 kg/pig.day compared with those fed ad libitum that consumed 2.68 kg/day (P ≤ 0.057). In Experiment 3, pigs fed twice daily consumed 2.82 kg/pig.day compared with 2.91 kg/pig.day in ad libitum-fed pigs (P ≤ 0.051). Bi-phasic fed pigs in Experiment 2 had improved (P < 0.05) feed conversion efficiency compared with pigs fed ad libitum. For all experiments, there was no difference in plasma glucose concentrations between the two treatments. In all three experiments, the circulating insulin concentrations for pigs fed ad libitum remained at a constant level throughout the sampling period. However, plasma insulin concentrations for the bi-phasic fed pigs significantly increased ∼1 h after both feeding periods during all three experiments. Insulin secretion of pigs fed for two 90-min periods differed from that of pigs fed for two 60-min periods. Plasma insulin concentration increased five-fold following feeding for 60 min, compared with that in pigs fed for 90 min, which increased two-fold. Bi-phasic-fed pigs from Experiment 2 had reduced (P < 0.05) total carcass fat and significantly increased muscle when compared with pigs fed ad libitum. The data showed that feeding pigs at two succinct periods aligned insulin secretion to the time of feeding. Pigs fed for 60 min, unlike those fed for 90-min intervals, had reduced feed intake in comparison to those fed ad libitum. This may suggest that the duration of the feeding bout is important for this response and this may in turn influence both energy balance and the way energy is partitioned. © 2014 CSIRO.

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