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Determination of protein and amino acid requirements of lactating sows using a population-based factorial approach


Determination of appropriate nutritional requirements is essential to optimize the productivity and longevity of lactating sows. The current recommendations for requirements do not consider the large variation between animals. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the amino acid recommendations for lactating sows using a stochastic modeling approach that integrates population variation and uncertainty of key parameters into establishing nutritional recommendations for lactating sows. The requirement for individual sows was calculated using a factorial approach by adding the requirement for maintenance and milk. The energy balance of the sows was either negative or zero depending on feed intake being a limiting factor. Some parameters in the model were sow-specific and others were population-specific, depending on state of knowledge. Each simulation was for 1000 sows repeated 100 times using Monte Carlo simulation techniques. BW, back fat thickness of the sow, litter size (LS), average litter gain (LG), dietary energy density and feed intake were inputs to the model. The model was tested using results from the literature, and the values were all within ±1 s.d. of the estimated requirements. Simulations were made for a group of low- (LS=10 (s.d.=1), LG=2 kg/day (s.d.=0.6)), medium- (LS=12 (s.d.=1), LG=2.5 kg/day (s.d.=0.6)) and high-producing (LS=14 (s.d.=1), LG=3.5 kg/day (s.d.=0.6)) sows, where the average requirement was the result. In another simulation, the requirements were estimated for each week of lactation. The results were given as the median and s.d. The average daily standardized ileal digestible (SID) protein and lysine requirements for low-, medium- and high-producing sows were 623 (CV=2.5%) and 45.1 (CV=4.8%); 765 (CV=4.9%) and 54.7 (CV=7.0%); and 996 (CV=8.5%) and 70.8 g/day (CV=9.6%), respectively. The SID protein and lysine requirements were lowest at week 1, intermediate at week 2 and 4 and the highest at week 3 of lactation. The model is a valuable tool to develop new feeding strategies by taking into account the variable requirement between groups of sows and changes during lactation. The inclusion of between-sow variation gives information on safety margins when developing new dietary recommendations of amino acids and protein for lactating sows.

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