Effects of dietary valine concentration on lactational performance of sows nursing large litters

S. D. Carter, G. M. Hill, D. C. Mahan, J. L. Nelssen, B. T. Richert, G. C. Shurson, T. R. Cline, G. L. Cromwell, T. D. Crenshaw, R. A. Easter, G. R. Hollis, R. C. Ewan, C. R. Hamilton, A. J. Lewis, T. L. Veum, J. T. Yen, D. K. Layman

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A cooperative study, using 231 primiand multiparous crossbred sows from six experiment stations (IN, KS, MI, MN, ND, and OH), was conducted to determine the effects of elevating dietary valine concentration in corn-soybean meal diets on lactational performance of sows nursing large litters. Crossbred sows were fed diets containing a minimum of .60% lysine during gestation. Sows were allotted at farrowing to four dietary valine concentrations, .80, .95, 1.10, and 1.25%. Crystalline L-valine replaced cornstarch to maintain a constant ratio of corn:soybean meal across diets. Dietary lysine, provided by corn, soybean meal, and .15% crystalline L-lysine-HCl, was .90% in all diets. Sows were allowed ad libitum access to feed. Sows were weighed within 24 h after farrowing, and all litters were adjusted to ≥ 10 pigs/litter by d 2 following farrowing. Average sow parity, number of pigs on d 2, and lactation length for the four treatments were, respectively, 2.3, 2.3, 2.3, 2.5; 10.9, 10.8, 10.8, 10.7; and 25.1, 24.5, 25.2, 25.0 d. The ADFI during lactation was 5.87, 5.77, 5.87, and 5.74 kg (P > .50); hence, valine intakes were 41, 48, 55, and 61 g/d (linear, P < .01). Lysine intake ranged from 51.5 to 52.7 g/d (P > .50). Sow weight after far-rowing averaged 198 kg (P > .60). Overall pig survival to weaning was high (>92%), and the number of pigs weaned (10.1, 10.3, 10.3, 10.3) did not differ (P > .30) among treatments. Litter weaning weights (73.6, 73.6, 74.5, 72.6 kg), litter weight gains (55.1, 55.1, 56.0, 54.1 kg), sow weight change during lactation (-4.9, -5.4, -4.8, -6.3 kg), and return-to-estrus interval (7.5, 6.4, 6.9, 8.2 d) were not affected (P > .30) by dietary valine. There were no station × treatment interactions (P > .50). These results indicate no benefit of elevated dietary valine for lactating sows nursing > 10 pigs and consuming a corn-soybean meal diet containing .90% lysine and .80% valine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2879-2884
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2000


  • Lactation
  • Lysine
  • Sows
  • Valine


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