Reduction Of Corn Particle Size In Lactation Diets Improves Sow And Litter Performance

Kansas State University Swine Research. One hundred primiparous sows were used to determine the effects of corn particle size in lactation diets on sow and litter performance. Sows were fed corn-soybean mealbased diet with the corn ground to 1,200, 900, 600, or 400 m. Particle size of corn had no influence on sow weight or backfat loss, or piglet survivability. However, feed intake and digestibilities of DM, N, and GE were increased (6, 5, 7, and 7%, respectively) as particle size was reduced from 1,200 to 400 m. The combination of increased feed intake and improved digestibilities resulted in increased intake of digestible nutrients. DE intake was increased 14% (13.72 to 15.60 Mcal/d) as corn particle size was reduced from 1,200 to 400 m. Intakes of digestible DM and N were also increased (11 and 14%, respectively). The increased intake of digestible nutrients resulted in a 11% increase in litter weight gain. Reducing particle size increased severity of keratinization and lesions in the esophageal region of the stomach although all treatment averages were low to moderate, and the change was not associated with reduced sow performance. In conclusion, our data indicate that nutrient intake of sows and litter weight gains can be increased by grinding corn for lactation diets to particle sizes of 600 to 400 m.