Article Text

Supplementary biotin for sows: effect on reproductive characteristics
  1. PH Simmins and
  2. PH Brooks

Abstract

Eighty female pigs were fed from 25 kg liveweight either basal diets calculated to provide 32 micrograms available biotin/kg (control diet) or basal diets supplemented with 350 micrograms biotin/kg. Reproductive performance was studied over four parities. Sows receiving supplementary biotin returned to oestrus 2.9 +/- 1.7 and conceived 6.1 +/- 1.4 days sooner than controls (P less than 0.05). Of those sows receiving supplementary biotin, more returned to oestrus and conceived within 10 days of weaning (83.2 per cent v 74.6 per cent and 80.6 per cent v 71.8 per cent respectively) and fewer were treated for anoestrus (7.3 per cent v 17.0 per cent) than those on the control diet. Supplementing diets increased the annual productivity of sows completing four parities by 1.42 +/- 1.02 pigs/sow/year (P less than 0.05) and increased the total weight of weaner produced/sow/year by 17.3 +/- 7.4 kg (P less than 0.05). It was concluded that the majority of commercial dietary formulations would require supplementation with biotin in order that sows may express their full reproductive potential.

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