Effects of feeding diets containing dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to sows on maternal and offspring performance

Thumbnail Image

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Effects of feeding diets containing dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to sows on maternal and offspring performance

Published Date




Thesis or Dissertation


The first experiment was conducted to evaluate the interactive effects of dietary distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in sow diets and housing systems on sow performance and longevity. A total of 401 (n = 311 for parity 0; n = 90 for parity 1) sows were assigned randomly to 1 of 4 treatments and maintained on these treatments for up to 3 reproductive cycles. Sows were fed either a fortified corn-soybean meal control diet (CON) during gestation and lactation, or diets containing 40% DDGS in gestation and 20% DDGS in lactation, and were housed either in individual stalls or group pens with electronic sow feeders during gestation. Litters from DDGS-fed and group-housed sows gained less (P < 0.05) weight during lactation than litters from DDGS-fed and stall-housed sows. This difference between gestation housing was not apparent for litters nursing CON-fed sows. Sows fed DDGS produced smaller (P < 0.05) litter size (born alive, 11.0 vs. 11.6; weaning, 9.8 vs. 10.2) and had more (P < 0.05) stillborn (0.9 vs. 0.7) than sows fed CON. Litters nursing DDGS-fed sows gained less weight than litters nursing sows fed CON (47.8 vs. 49.8 kg). Group-housed sows tended to farrow smaller litter size at birth (born alive, 11.0 vs. 11.5) and at weaning (P < 0.05; 9.9 vs. 10.2) compared with stall-housed sows. Litters from group-housed sows tended (P < 0.10) to gain less weight than those from stall-housed sows (48.3 vs. 49.4 kg). Diet did not affect percentage of sows that completed each successive reproductive cycle. Stall housing tended to increase (P = 0.06) the completion rate of sows at the second reproductive cycle (80.0% vs. 68.2%) and increased (P < 0.05) the completion rate of sows at the third reproductive cycle (68.9% vs. 55.8%) compared with group housing. Sows fed DDGS produced fewer (P < 0.03) live born pigs (n = 26.2 vs. 27.4) and tended (P < 0.10) to have fewer pigs weaned (n = 23.7 vs. 24.5) over 3 reproductive cycles compared with sows fed CON. Stall-housed sows farrowed more (P < 0.05) total pigs (n = 30.1 vs. 26.7), live pigs (n = 28.4 vs. 25.2), and weaned pigs (n = 25.2 vs. 23.1) compared with group-housed sows over 3 reproductive cycles. The second experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding DDGS containing low or high peroxidized lipid (LOD or HOD) on sow performance, and birth weight variation, growth performance, and carcass characteristics of progeny. Mixed parity sows (n = 48; mean parity = 3.2) were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments (CON, LOD, or HOD). Individual birth weight of pre-suckling (PS) newborns were sorted into 2 classifications: 1) Small [¡Ü 1 standard deviation (SD) below the average birth weight of the litter], Large (¡Ý 1 SD above the average birth weight of the litter), and Normal (not classified as Small or Large); 2) Low (¡Ü 1.0 kg), Medium (> 1.0 kg and < 1.6 kg), and High (¡Ý 1.6 kg). Two to three pigs were selected from Small or Large groups and fed diets same to their dams from weaning to marketing. Sows fed HOD tended to farrow more (P < 0.10) dead pigs per litter than sows fed CON. Feeding HOD tended to increase (P = 0.05) within-litter variation in birth weight of total pigs compared with feeding LOD or CON. Diet did not affect the number of Small, Normal, or Large total born, live born, or dead born pigs per litter. Feeding HOD decreased (P < 0.05) Medium pigs in total born litter size and increased (P < 0.05) Low pigs in dead born litter size compared with feeding LOD or CON. Small pigs fed LOD or HOD tended to have greater (P = 0.05) levels of plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) than Large pigs. Feeding LOD or HOD increased (P < 0.05) levels of plasma His and Gly in PS newborns compared with feeding CON. Feeding LOD or HOD decreased (P < 0.05) final BW but did not affect overall ADG of pigs. Pigs fed LOD or HOD exhibited improved (P < 0.05) G:F compared with pigs fed CON. Large pigs fed HOD had greater (P < 0.05) ADG and ADFI but with no difference in G:F compared with Small pigs fed the same diet. Feeding HOD decreased (P < 0.05) HCW, backfat depth and loin eye area at the 10th rib compared with feeding CON. Small pigs fed LOD or CON had lighter (P < 0.05) HCW than Large pigs fed the same diet. In conclusion, long-term feeding of DDGS decreases litter size and sow productivity, but does not affect sow longevity. Long-term housing of sows in group pens decreases litter size, sow longevity, and sow productivity. Housing sows in individual stalls compromises litter performance when feeding DDGS. Feeding HOD increased number of dead pigs born with low BW and within-litter variation in piglet birth weight, but did not affect the incidence of low birth weight pigs. Feeding HOD from did not affect postnatal performance but compromised carcass characteristics of finishing pigs. Small pigs exhibited elevated MDA levels, slower growth rate, and lighter HCW compared with Large pigs within diet.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2012. Major: Animal science. Advisor: Dr. Lee J. Johnston. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 230 pages.

Related to




Series/Report Number

Funding information

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Li, Xiaojing. (2012). Effects of feeding diets containing dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to sows on maternal and offspring performance. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/143254.

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.