Department of Animal Science Florida Agricultural
Mimeograph Series No. 63-3 Experiment Station
July, 1962 Gainesville, Florida
HIGH LEVEL ANTIBIOTIC
SUPPLEMENTATION OF THE SOW
DURING THE FARROWING PERIOD I.
H. D. Wallace and G. E. Combs 2/
Many of the more difficult problems encountered by the swine producer
occur at farrowing time or shortly thereafter. Sows are subjected to'nu-
merous stress factors at this time. Udders may become feverish and caked
causing poor milk flow. Uterine infections following parturition are not
uncommon. Scours is often a problem in the young pigs. The causes of these
and other difficulties are not well understood. Low grade bacterial in-
fections likely provide a starting point for the acute conditions to de-
velop. Experience with injectable antibiotics has demonstrated the
effectiveness of these compounds in combating such complications. It was
thus theorized that a therapeutic level of antibiotic in the feed com-
mencing a few days before parturition and for several after parturition
might likewise prove effective. The experiment reported herein was under-
taken to study such a possibility.
The management and feeding procedures for the sows and litters are
described in Fla. An. Science Mimeo. Series No. 63-2. The composition
of the basal ration is shown in Table I. Approximately one-half of the
sows in each farrowing were supplemented with 200 gm. tylosin per ton of feed.
Sows were allotted to the.two groups (control and tylosin supplemented) at
the time they entered the farrowing barn. Age, previous performance and
breed were considered in determining the allotment. 'Tylosin supplementa-
tion commenced in the treated group on the 110th day of gestation and was
continued through the first week of gestation, except in the February,
1962 farrowing when the supplementation was continued for two weeks post
farrow. The experiment was initiated in June of 1961 and concluded in
February, 1962. A total of five separate farrowings and 88 individual
litters were involved in the study.
Results and Discussion
The performance data are presented in Table 2. There were a total of
46 litters in the control group and a total of 42 litters in the ant''
supplemented group. The average litter sizes (live pigs born per Pr
were 10.13 and 10.38 respectively for the control and treated gro ss. The
-/ Supported in part by a grant from ELi Lilly and Co., Greenfield,
2./ Wallace and Combs, Animal Nutritionist and Asst. Animal Nutritionist
respectively, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. The assistance
of W. E. Collins and L. S. Taylor, Swine Herdsmen, is gratefully
similarity in litter size provided a desirable base from which to study the
antibiotic effect. The overall percent survivals were 87.1 and 86.7 for
the control and treated litters--essentially the same. The average weaning
Table I. COMPOSI.TION.OF THE BASAL RATION
Ground yellow corn 65.09
Ground whole oats 10.00
Soybean meal (50% protein) 20.30
Steamed bonemeal 1.00
Ground limestone 0.75
Iodized salt 0.50
Trace mineral supplement 1/ 0.06
B-vitamin supplement 2/ 0.20
Vitamin B12 supplement 3/ 0.10
Vitamin A and D supplement 4/ 2.00
I/ Calcium Carbonate Co. swine mix. Add the following to the ration (p.p.m.):
manganese (35.5), iron (43.8), copper (3.0), cobalt (1.0), zinc (50.4),
and potassium (4.7).
2/ Contains 2000 mg. riboflavin, 4000 mg. pantothenic acid, 9000 mg. niacin
and 10,000 mg. choline chloride per pound of supplement.
3/ Contains a minimum of 9 mg. B12 per pound of supplement..
4/ Contains 14 gm. vitamin A supplement (10,000 l'.U./gm.), 4 gm. vitamin D
supplement (9,000 1.U./gm.) and 890 gm. yellow corn meal.
weight at two weeks of age favored the control litters in 2 of the 5 farrow-
ings and the treated litters in the other three farrowings. There was an
average weight advantage of 0.24 lb. at weaning for the 378 pigs from
treated litters as compared to the 406 pigs from untreated litters. This
difference, although small, coupled with a slightly greater litter size
may reflect an antibiotic response. However, the magnitude is too limited
to suggest an economic advantage under the conditions of this experiment.
The tylosin supplementation did not eliminate udder problems. Minor
difficulties were encountered:with a few sows in both groups. Neither did
the tylosin supplementation eliminate scouring in the treated litters.
Again,,this was.a minor problem but was observed in pigs from both groups.
Eighty-eight litters (784 pigs), farrowed in five separate farrowings
commencing in June, 1961 and ending in February, 1962, were used to evaluate
high level antibiotic supplementation during the farrowing period. Tylosin,
fed at a level of 200 gm. per ton of feed for 3 days prefarrow and 7 or 14
days postfarrow, was the antibiotic employed.
Sow performance data, measured in terms of survival and weaning weights
at two weeks of age, suggested no significant advantage for this procedure.
Table 2. THE INFLUENCE OF FEEDING A HIGH LEVEL OF ANTIBIOTIC
DURING THE FARROWING PERIOD ON SOW PERFORMANCE
Date of Number Av. Number Av. Number Percent Av. Weight Av. Sow Weight
Farrow of Live Pigs Pigs Weaned Survival of Pigs Change
Litters Per Litter Per Litter At Weaning Pre-Farrowing
Farrowed (2 weeks) To Weaning
June, 1961 9 9.22 8.33 90.3 7.38 -54.6
August, 1961 12 8.75 7.67 87.7 7.13 -55.6
October, 1961 7 10.00 7.43 74.3 7.36 -58.0
December, 1961 8 10.10 9.25 91.6 7.60 -60.5
February, 1962 10 12.70 11.30 89.0 8.18 -89.5
46 10.13 8.83 87.1 7.52 -64.0
(Tylosin Supplemented I/)
June, 1961 10 9.40 7.90 84.0 7.78 -61.9
August, 1961 9 11.11 8.77 78.9 7.74 -66.3
October, 1961 5 10.60 9.80 92.5 6.31 -66.0
December, 1961 8 11.00 9.88 89.8 8.30 -71.8
February, 1962 10 10.10 9.20 91.1 8.06 -80.4
42 10.38 9.00 86.7 7.76 -69.6
200 gm. tylosin added per ton of feed.