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Effect of offering maize, linseed or tuna oils throughout pregnancy and lactation on sow and piglet tissue composition and piglet performance

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Sandra Edwards


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The effects of different dietary essential fatty acids on piglet tissue composition at birth and performance until 7 days post weaning were investigated by offering the sow diets containing (17ยท5 g oil per kg diet) either maize oil (MO) as a control treatment, tuna oil (TO) as a source of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly 22:6 n-3, or a mixture of maize and linseed oils (LO) which supplied the same amount of n-3 acids as TO but in the form of 18:3 n-3. Ten sows were allocated to each treatment which was offered throughout pregnancy and lactation. Compared with MO, offering TO increased sow plasma and subcutaneous adipose tissue 22:6 n-3 proportions whereas LO increased 18 : 3 n-3 and, to a much lesser extent than TO, 22 : 6 n-3. Offering TO to the sow increased the proportions of 20 : 5 n-3 and 22 : 6 n-3 in piglet brain and liver at birth and decreased the n-6 acids, 20 : 4, 22 : 4 and 22 : 5. LO only increased piglet liver 20 : 5 n-3 proportions but to a lesser extent than TO; however, LO also decreased the proportions of 20 : 4, 22 : 4 and 22 : 5 n-6 in piglet tissues. Offering the pregnant sow dietary 18 : 3 n-3 therefore increased deposition of 22 : 6 n-3 in foetal piglet tissues to a much lesser extent than tuna oil and so it is necessary to offer the sow pre-formed 22 : 6 n-3 in order to achieve maximum foetal 22 : 6 n-3 deposition. By experimentally allocating piglets at birth, effects of sow nutrition during pregnancy and lactation were separated. Piglets sucking MO or TO sows were heavier than piglets sucking LO sows 7 days post weaning.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rooke JA, Shanks M, Edwards SA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal Science

Year: 2000

Volume: 71

Issue: 2

Pages: 289-299

ISSN (print): 1357-7298

ISSN (electronic): 1748-748X

Publisher: Cambridge University Press