Department of Animal Science i Florida Agricultural
Research Report No. AL-1974-6 Lb -Y Experiment Station
June, 1974 Gainesville, Florida
SOW FARROWING AND LACTATION PERFORMANCE AS INFLUENCED BY DIET
FORTIFICATION WITH AUREO MCIN, PENICILLIN AND SULFAMETHAZINEI/
..A...- v of "or !al 21
H. D. Wallace, D. D'Th eu-andGECo s
Farrowing and early lactation represent very critical phases relative to the
total productivity and success of a swine operation. Sows come under considerable
stress at this time and unless they remain healthy, eat well, and lactate at
maximum potential, litter survival and growth is adversely affected.
In an attempt to define those procedures which improve sow performance in
the farrowing barn several experiments have been conducted at the Florida Station
involving the feeding of chemotherapeutic compounds. In 1962 (1) a study was
conducted to determine if 200 gm. per ton of tylosin in the farrowing and lacta-
tion diet would improve sow performance. Results, measured in terms of pig
survival and weaning weights at two weeks of age, indicated no significant
statistical advantage. Treated sows did wean more pigs per litter (9.00 vs. 8.83)
and their pigs were a bit heavier (7.76 vs. 7.52 lb.).
A study reported in 1964 (2) involving terramycin provided similar results.
Although differences were not statistically significant there were numerical
advantages for the terramycin supplemented sows. These sows weaned 10.27 pigs
per litter at two weeks of age compared to 9.84 for control sows. Respective
2-week weaning weights were 7.35 and 7.17 lb. The larger litter size at weaning,
for treated sows in each of the above described experiments, could have been
accounted for largely on the basis-of greater initial litter size at birth which
would not be expected to be influenced by treatment. However, the combination
of more pigs and heavier pigs at weaning is quite suggestive that the antibiotic
treatments were favorably influencing milk production.
In 1966 (3) a study involving the feeding of a high level of copper (250
ppm) to sows three days prefarrow through two weeks of lactation was reported.
Differences were small, but as in the previous experiments there was a slight
advantage in weaning weights (7.46 vs. 7.22) for treated sows. Copper-fed
sows weaned 10.3 pigs per litter compared to 10.0 for the control sows.
1/ Test drug (ASP-250) generously supplied by American Cyanamid Company,
Princeton, New Jersey. Data presented in this report were generated in
2/ Wallace and Combs, Animal Nutritionists; Thieu, graduate assistant,
Department of Animal Science, IFAS.
This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of
$99.25 or .10 cents per copy to inform county agricul-
tural directors, ranchers and growers of research results
in swine management and nutrition.
Department of Animal Science
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
In 1969 (4) results of feeding 100 gm. per ton of feed of zinc-bacitracin
to sows for all or part of the pre-breeding, gestation and lactation periods
were published. Litter size at birth and weaning, birth and weaning weights,
survival and incidence of pig scours suggested no advantage for the use of
this antibiotic under the conditions imposed.
In the present study a combination of aureomycin, sulfamethazine and
penicillin (ASP-250) was fed in an effort to provide broad coverage against
bacterial infections. This combination of drugs has been very effective at
this station as a growth promotant for young pigs.
The entire University sow herd, which consisted of approximately 75 animals,
was utilized in this study. A multiple year around farrowing procedure was
followed in which approximately 20-25 sows were bred to farrow at 10 week inter-
vals. Hand mating was practiced exclusively. During breeding and gestation the
sows were maintained in small dirt lots with little or no green forage available
and were hand fed a complete mixed feed (4 or 6 lb.) once per day. Sows were
sprayed every 6 weeks during gestation to control lice and approximately two
weeks before farrowing all sows were wormed. Three days before the sows were due
to farrow, each sow was moved to the farrowing barn, scrubbed with soap and water,
weighed and placed in a farrowing stall. The farrowing building was thoroughly
steam cleaned and disinfected between farrowings. As sows came to the farrowing
barn they were alternately assigned to the control group or treated group based
on age, breed and other experimental involvement. All sows were given 3 lb. of
feed twice per day prior to farrowing and essentially free choice during lactation.
The diets fed during gestation and lactation are shown in Table 1. ASP-250 was
included in the diet of treated sows just prior to farrowing and throughout lacta-
tion as indicated in Table 1.
Table 1. Composition of Dietsli
Yellow corn meal 59.15 59.15 46.65
Ground whole oats 20.00 20.00 20.00
Wheat bran 15.00
Soybean oilmeal (49%) 18.00 18.00 15.50
Defluorinated phosphate 2.20 2.20 2.20
Iodized salt 0.50 0.50 0.50
Trace mineral premix (CCC).3 0.10 0.10 0.10
Vitamin premix (UF)/ 0.05 0.05 0.05
100.00 100.00 100.00
I/ ASP-250 (aureomycin, sulfamethazine, penicillin) was added
at the level of 5 lb. per ton to the diet of the treated
sows. This level contributed 250 gm. per ton of total drug.
2/ The last four farrowings in the study were also a part of
Expt. 215 which involved the inclusion of wheat bran in the
lactating diet. Thus two lactation diets as shown above
were utilized to obtain data for the present study.
3/ Contained 207. zinc, 10% iron, 5.5% manganese, 1.1% copper,
0.15% iodine, 0.1% cobalt and 2% calcium.
4/ Contained 6,000 mg riboflavin, 20,000 mg niacin, 12,000 mg
pantothenic acid, 80,000 mg choline chloride, 10,000 mcg
vitamin B12, 2,500,000 IU vitamin A, 400,000 ICU vitamin D3
and 10,000 IU vitamin E per pound of premix.
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When each litter of piglets were born navel cords were tied off, clipped
and treated with a tincture of iodine; needle teeth were clipped; tails docked;
and all piglets were weighed and earnotched for identification. At 3-5 days of
age all pigs were injected with 100 mg. of iron to prevent anemia and male pigs
were castrated. Careful observations were made on sows for symptoms of the MMA
complex mastitiss, metritis and agalactia) and routine treatment was provided
as necessary. Body temperatures of sows were recorded at farrowing time and
24 hours post farrowing. Pigs were weaned at 2 weeks of age and sow and pig
weights were recorded.
Results and Discussion
A summary of the seven individual farrowings for the control sows and
treated sows is presented in Table 2. In general sow performance was quite
good and no major differences in performance were observed due to treatment
for the various farrowings over the 15 month period involved. Seasonal and
treatment interactions were not apparent.
An overall summary of the combined farrowings for each group is found in
Table 3. None of the measurement criteria showed a statistically significant
(P < .05) response to the experimental treatment. The average number of pigs
born alive per litter favored the treated group (10.97 vs. 10.62). This dif-
ference was probably not a treatment effect but likely due to chance allotment.
Birth weights of pigs averaged the same for the two groups. Sows fed the
antibiotic passed more resorbing fetuses (1.07 vs. 0.85) and slightly more pigs
were dead at birth (0.74 vs. 0.70) in this group. Again these differences were
probably due to chance allotment of sows and not to the treatment imposed.
Average body temperatures of sows at the time of farrowing were similar for the
two groups. Twenty four hours after farrowing body temperatures had increased
an average of approximately 1.50 F. for all sows but again no difference was
apparent between sow groups. The incidence of MMA was judged to be similar
(7 vs. 8 cases) for the two groups. The most meaningful measurements; number
of pigs weaned per litter, weight of pigs at weaning and percent survival of
pigs showed no treatment advantage. Sow weight changes were also very similar
for the two groups.
A study, involving a total of 149 litters farrowed over a 15 month period,
was conducted to determine the influence on sow performance when the diet was
supplemented with ASP-250 commencing 3 days prefarrow through 14 days of lacta-
Body temperatures of sows, incidence of MMA, number of pigs weaned per
litter, weight of pigs at weaning and percent pig survival revealed no advantage
for the treatment under the conditions of this experiment.
Table 2. Reproductive Performance of Sows As Influenced by the Addition of a Combination
of Aureomycin, Sulfamethazine and Penicillin to the Farrowing and Lactation Diet
Farrowing Av. No.
Av. No. Av. No.
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Table 3. Summary of Sow Reproductive Performance As Influenced by the Addition
of a Combination of Aureomycin, Sulfamethazine and Penicillin to the
Farrowing and Lactation Diet
Number of litters 79 70
Av. litter number (sow maturity) 2.49 2.54
Av. number live pigs per litter at birth 10.62 10.97
Av. wt. per pig at birth, lb. 2.95 2.95
Av. number of resorbing fetuses at birth per litter 0.85 1.07
Av. number of term pigs born dead per litter 0.70 0.74
Av. body temp. (Fo) of sows at farrowingI/ 102.6 102.4
Av. body temp. (Fo) of sows 24 hr. post farrowing2/ 104.0 104.1
Incidence of MMA (total number sows affected)2/ 7 8
Av. number pigs weaned per litter at 2 wks. 9.34 9.36
Av. wt. per pig at 2 wks. 8.36 8.26
. Survival of pigs to 2 wks. of age 88.0 85.3
Av. sow wt. change (3 days prefarrow to 2 wks.
post-farrow) -63.2 -65.0
i/ Data recorded for last 49 sows farrowed in each group only.
2/ Data recorded for last 36 sows farrowed in each group only.
3/ Data recorded for last 49 sows farrowed in each group only. All other
measurements involved the total number of litters as shown.
1. Wallace, H. D. and G. E. Combs. 1962. High level antibiotic supplementa-
tion of the sow during the farrowing period. Fla. An. Sci. Mimeo Series
2. Wallace, H. D. and G. E. Combs. 1964. High level antibiotic supplementa-
tion of the sow during the farrowing period. Fla. An. Sci. Mimeo Series
3. Wallace, H. D., R. H. Houser and G. E. Combs. 1966. High level copper
supplementation of the sow during the farrowing and early lactation period.
Fla. An. Sci. Mimeo Series AN66-12.
4. Combs, G. E. and H. D. Wallace. 1969. Reproductive performance of sows
fed zinc bacitracin. Fla. An. Sci. Mimeo Series AN69-11.