Effect of room temperature and dietary amino acid concentration on performance of lactating sows

L. J. Johnston, M. Ellis, G. W. Libal, V. B. Mayrose, W. C. Weldon, R. D. Arthur, M. C. Brumm, R. K. Christenson, J. D. Crenshaw, R. H. Hines, G. W. Jesse, D. D. Jones, V. D. Leibbrandt, D. W. Rozeboom, D. R. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mixed-parity sows (n = 267) from five research stations were used to investigate whether a reduction of excess dietary amino acids would improve feed intake and performance of lactating sows experiencing heat stress. Experimental treatments included effects of room temperature (warm or hot) and diet (adequate protein [AP] or low protein [LP]). The corn-soybean meal AP diet was formulated to contain 16.5% CP, .8% lysine, and .67% digestible lysine. The LP diet was formulated to contain 13.7% CP, .76% lysine, and .66% digestible lysine using corn, soybean meal, and synthetic lysine. Feed intake during gestation was standardized at 1.8 kg·sow-1·d-1. At parturition, litter size was adjusted to no fewer than nine pigs. Mean high temperature in the warm and hot rooms was 20.4 and 29.2°C and mean low temperature was 17.7 and 27.1°C, respectively. The hot environment reduced (P < .01) feed intake of sows (4.19 vs 6.38 kg/d) during lactation, weaning weight of sows (176.2 vs 193.6 kg), percentage of sows displaying estrus (79.2 vs 93.4%) by d 15 postweaning, and litter growth rate (1.74 vs 2.11 kg/ d) and increased (P < .01) respiration rate of sows on d 10 postpartum (71.9 vs 36.5 breaths/min) compared with the warm environment. Litter size and backfat loss of sows were not affected by treatments. No significant diet × room temperature interactions were observed for voluntary feed intake, body weight loss, backfat loss, or respiration rate of sows. Litter growth rate was depressed by feeding the LP diet in the warm room but was improved by feeding the LP diet in the hot room (warm-AP, 2.17; warm-LP, 2.05; hot-AP, 1.71; hot-LP, 1.77 kg/d; P < .05). Reduction of dietary crude protein combined with supplementation of crystalline lysine to reduce concentrations of excess dietary amino acids did not significantly reduce heat stress of sows, but it did support slight improvements in weight gain of litters nursing heat-stressed sows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1638-1644
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Dietary protein
  • Feed intake
  • Heat stress
  • Litter performance
  • Sows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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