The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


Eleven multiparous crossbred lactating sows were used to determine the influence of deficient protein dietcontaining 8.2% crude protein and normal protein diet containing 18.2% crude protein on plasma amino acidconcentrations of sows and their piglets, physical mammary gland and histological changes of mammary cells. Theywere provided sufficient water and feed access to one of two isocaloric diets, either deficient (6 sows) or normalprotein diets (5 sows). The experimental period started from farrowing (day 0) until weaning day (day 28). In thisstudy, sows fed deficient protein diet had significant increase in body weight losses and their piglets had significantdecrease in body weight gain and average daily gain (p<0.05) throughout lactation period. On day 16 of lactation,plasma amino acid concentrations, notably for some neutral and cationic amino acids, had significant decrease insows and only for proline increment in their piglets of deficient protein group. During peak lactation (day 18),appearance of visible physical change of mammary glands in each group was observed to be smaller in proteindeficientsows than in the control sows. In addition, histology of anterior functional mammary glands in sows feddeficient protein diet demonstrated that alveolus lumen of mammary cells was smaller and connective tissuessurrounding them were thicker than those fed normal protein diet, respectively. In conclusion, the present studydemonstrates that dietary protein deficiency has an important negative effect on body weight loss, alteration of someplasma amino acid concentrations of lactating sows and their litters, and impairment of mammary glandconformation or function during lactation period. These important causes lead to the retarded growth performance oftheir piglets.

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