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Increased Lysine Inclusion in Rations During Late Gestation Stimulates Mammary Development in Gilts

Bruce Cochrane

8 Dec 2023

Dr. Chantal Farmer discusses the value of increasing lysine in the diets of gilts via increased soybean inclusion.

00:00 / 02:44

Farmscape for December 8, 2023

Research conducted with funding provided by Swine Innovation Porc shows increasing the inclusion of lysine in the diets of first parity gilts will help stimulate the formation of milk producing mammary tissues.

Research aimed at stimulating mammary development to boost milk production is highlighted as part of Swine Innovation Porc's 2022-2023 annual report.

Dr. Chantal Farmer, a research scientist in sow lactation biology with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Sherbrooke, says scientists evaluated the value of increasing the inclusion of the amino acid lysine during gestation.

Quote-Dr. Chantal Farmer-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:

Why do we look at lysine?

Lysine is an essential amino acid.

It's in fact the most limiting amino acid in most swine diets.

It's involved in growth, it's involved in reproduction so there would be a lot of chances that it would have a role in terms of mammary development.

What we've done is we've increased the lysine intake at the end of gestation by 40 percent.

This increase was achieved by giving more soybean meal in the diet.

So, obviously we did not only increase lysine.

We increased other amino acids, we increased protein content but the only thing that was increased by 40 percent was the lysine content.

We did that in the critical late gestation period.

Then we slaughtered the animals at the end of gestation, looked at mammary tissue and amazingly a 40 percent increase in lysine led to a 44 percent increase in the good mammary parenchymal tissue where you do see these milk synthesising cells being present.

That's a one-to-one ratio that's amazing.

More lysine, by giving more soybean meal, will greatly enhance mammary development at the end of gestation.

This was done in growing gilts.

In my last project in the swine cluster was to do the same experiment with multiparous sows.

If we do the same 40 percent increase in lysine intake in these multiparous sows then you look at mammary development at the end of gestation there is no beneficial effect whatsoever.

Dr. Farmer recommends phase feeding gilts by increasing lysine via more soybean meal inclusion from 90 days of gestation to farrowing.

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Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is produced on behalf of North America’s pork producers

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