Dietary sodium diformate (Formi NDF) in sows during late gestation and lactation - performance improvements in suckling piglets
The application of organic acids and their salts to diets for pigs has been studied extensively for more than 50 years (Lückstädt & Mellor, 2011). Despite its well-documented effects, data on its impact in sows during late gestation and lactation, and their subsequent effects on suckling piglets under commercial conditions is scarce.
This study tested the effects of sodium diformate (Formi® NDF, ADDCON) fed to sows on their suckling piglets. 20 sows (Landrace × Big Yorkshire) on a commercial farm in Northern Serbia were equally divided into two groups, containing 10 sows each. They were fed from one week before farrowing till the end of weaning (day 27) on a typical lactation diet (corn-wheat-soy based), containing either 0.8% of NDF, or a negative control which did not contain the additive. The lactation diet was fed ad libitum and daily feed intake measured. From the first day after farrowing, only the 12 heaviest piglets from the litter of each sow were kept within the trial. The following parameters were monitored: number of piglets born alive, individual weight of new-born piglets and litter weight of new-born piglets. At weaning the number of weaned piglets, the individual body weight of weaned piglets as well as litter weight during weaning was recorded. Data were analysed using the t-test and a significance level of 0.05 was used in all tests.
Feed during the trial was well accepted by both groups. Sows fed the NDF-diet had a noticeably higher feed intake compared to sows from the negative control group (+460 g/day, Table 1). During farrowing the weight and number of piglets born alive increased (P<0.1) due to the addition of the additive: piglet weight by 90 g; live births increased by more than 2 piglets per sow. Consequently, litter weight of piglets at birth differed significantly (P<0.01) by more than 5.5 kg, for the NDF-fed sows. Furthermore, uniformity of piglet and litter weight was improved. During weaning at day 27, the number of weaned piglets differed significantly (10.5 and 11.5 for Control- and NDF-group; P=0.03), due to a higher mortality during nursing in the control-group (P<0.1). The weaning weight of the piglets was only numerically influenced (60 g heavier piglets in the NDF-group). However, due to the increased number of weaned piglets, the litter weight during weaning of NDF-fed sows was also higher (P<0.1) by more than 8.6 kg. Again, uniformity of piglet and litter weight was improved, leading to a better manageable pig production.
Table 1 Performance parameter of piglet from sows fed with or without Formi NDF
As previously reported for potassium diformate (Øverland et al., 2009, Lückstädt, 2011), sodium diformate in sow diets may also support piglet production indirectly during the suckling period.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Christian Lückstädt, Stevan Petrovic and ADDCON GmbH