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Effects of dietary supplementation of organic mineral on the reproductive performance of sows

Associate Professor Srisuwan Chomchai  
The main reasons for high culling rates and poor sow longevity problems of pig breeding farms are the inability of the sow to maintain a satisfactory level of reproductive performance, wean to estrus interval  and factors associated with poor foot condition or leg conformation. These situations are observed shortly after weaning and reflect the loss of body tissue during lactation due to inadequate nutrient intake.

Maintenance of high energy, amino acid and mineral intakes during lactation period is critical to keeping the sow in the herd for a long and economically viable reproductive lifetime. The energy, amino acid and mineral requirement during gestation, lactation and wean to service interval depends on the weight of the sow, milk yield and its composition, the number of piglets suckling, lactation length, the weight lost during lactation period and parity.


Some sows do not have adequate feed intake to meet these nutrient demands. They mobilise their body fat for energy and lean tissue for amino acids to make up for the nutrient deficit from the daily feed intake. They often reach weaning in a catabolic state, which has a negative impact on subsequent reproductive performances, such as delayed wean to estrus interval, less sows bred within seven days of weaning, lower conception rate, poorer embryo survival, lower litter size and consequently variable farrowing rate and subsequent litter sizes.


Apart from energy and protein, organic minerals are one of the important nutrients in sow feed. It was reported that organic minerals can increase the level of minerals in the bloodstream, improve sow fertility, increase spermatozoa integrity, farrowing rate, litter size at birth and weaning, reduce piglets diarrhea, anemia, pre-weaning mortality and stress after wean, and improve weaning weight. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of supplementary organic minerals (Chelamin-Sow®) in feed on the reproductive performance of sows.


An experiment was conducted in order to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation of organic mineral on reproductive performance of sows. 152 Large white and Landrace crossbred sows were divided into two dietary treatment groups.   Each group consisted of 76 sows.  The dietary treatments were (1) basal diet (Control group), (2) basal diet with organic mineral (Chelamin sow 2®) one month before farrowing and organic mineral (Chelamin sow 3®) during lactation period and and organic mineral (Chelamin sow 1®) from wean to service.


The supplementation of organic mineral (Chelamin-Sow®) in sow diet one month before farrowing, during lactation period and from wean to service improved (P<0.01) birth weight and weaning weight of the piglets when compared to the control group, while litter size at weaning pre-weaning  mortality and wean to service interval were significantly different (p<0.05).

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Article made possible through the contribution of Associate Professor Srisuwan Chomchai

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