Lactational and subsequent reproductive responses of lactating sows to dietary lysine (protein) concentration

H. Yang, J. E. Pettigrew, Lee J Johnston, Gerald C Shurson, R. D. Walker

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40 Scopus citations


Gilts (n = 208) were used to evaluate the effect of lysine (protein) intake over three parities on lactation and subsequent reproductive performance. Sows were assigned randomly to one of five experimental diets at each farrowing. The five corn-soybean mealbased lactation diets contained increasing concentrations of total lysine (.60, .85, 1.10, 1.35, and 1.60%) and CP (14.67, 18.15, 21.60, 25.26, and 28.82%). Other amino acids were provided at a minimum of 105% of the NRC (1988) ratio to the lysine requirement. Sows had ad libitum access to their assigned diets from parturition until weaning (19.5 ± .2 d postpartum). All sows were fed a common gestation diet (14% CP and .68% lysine) from weaning to next farrowing. Litter size was standardized by d 3 postpartum to 10 pigs in parity 1 and 11 pigs in parity 2 and 3. Increasing dietary lysine (protein) linearly decreased (P < .05) voluntary feed intake of parity 1 (from 5.4 to 4.6 kg/d), 2 (from 6.5 to 5.8 kg/d), and 3 sows (from 6.8 to 6.2 kg/d). With the increase of dietary lysine (protein) concentration during lactation, litter weight gain responded quadratically (P < .05) in all three parities. Maximal litter ADG was 2.06, 2.36, and 2.49 kg/d in parities 1, 2, and 3, respectively, which occurred at about 44, 55, and 56 g/d of lysine intake for parity 1, 2, and 3 sows, respectively. Increasing dietary lysine (protein) had no effect (P > .1) on sow weight change, weaning-to-estrus interval, and farrowing rate in all three parities and no effect on backfat change in parity 2 and 3, but tended to increase backfat loss linearly (P < .1) in parity 1. A linear decrease of second litter size (total born, from 11.7 to 10.1, P < .1; born alive, from 11.0 to 8.9, P < .01) was observed when dietary lysine (protein) increased during the first lactation. Lysine (protein) intake during the second lactation had a quadratic effect on third litter size (P < .05; total born: 13.3, 11.2, 11.6, 11.9, and 13.6; born alive: 11.8, 10.1, 10.3, 11.2, and 12.4). However, fourth litter size was not influenced by lysine (protein) intake during the third lactation. These results suggest that the lysine (protein) requirement for subsequent reproduction is not higher than that for milk production. Parity influences the lysine (protein) requirement for lactating sows and the response of subsequent litter size to previous lactation lysine (protein) intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-357
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Feed Intake
  • Lactation
  • Litter Size
  • Lysine
  • Protein
  • Sows


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