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Maternal undernutrition and offspring sex determine birth-weight, postnatal development and meat characteristics in traditional swine breeds

Vázquez-Gómez, M., García-Contreras, C., Torres-Rovira, L., Astiz, S., Óvilo, C., González-Bulnes, A., Isabel, B.
Journal of animal science and biotechnology 2018 v.9 no.1 pp. 27
backfat, birth weight, carcass quality, carcass yield, compensatory growth, diet, farms, feed conversion, liver, males, malnutrition, meat, meat composition, meat quality, omega-3 fatty acids, piglets, postnatal development, pregnancy, progeny, restricted feeding, slaughter, sows, swine breeds, weaning, weight gain
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine how maternal undernutrition during pregnancy and offspring birth-weight can affect the postnatal development of offspring under farm conditions, which may lead to consequences in its meat and carcass quality. The current study involved a total of 80 litters from Iberian sows fed a diet fulfilling daily requirements (n = 47; control) or providing 70% daily requirements (n = 33; underfed) from d 38 to d 90 of gestation when fetal tissue development begins. After birth, piglets born live were classified as low birth-weight (LBW; < 1 kg) and normal birth-weight (NBW; ≥1 kg). During the growing phase, 240 control and 230 underfed pigs (50% males and females) distributed by BW category and sex were studied until the slaughter. RESULTS: At birth and weaning, there were significant differences in all morphological measures and weight between NBW and LBW piglets as expected (P < 0.0005), but few effects of the gestational feed restriction. During the growing phase, NBW pigs continued with higher weight than LBW pigs on all the days of evaluation (P < 0.05), even though control-LBW-females and LBW-males showed a catch-up growth. However, underfed pigs showed slower growth and higher feed conversion ratio than control pigs (P < 0.0001) at 215 days old. Moreover, the average daily weight gain (ADWG) for the overall period was greater for NBW, male and control pigs than for their LBW, female and underfed pigs (P < 0.0001, P< 0.0005 and P< 0.05, respectively) and NBW pigs were slaughtered at a younger age than LBW pigs (P < 0.0001). After slaughtering, control pigs also had higher carcass yield and backfat depth than underfed pigs (P < 0.0005) and the maternal nutritional effect caused main changes in the polar lipid fraction of liver and loin. The fatty acid composition of loin in control pigs had higher C18:1n-9 and n-3 FA concentrations, as well as lower ∑n-6/∑n-3 ratio, than in underfed pigs (P < 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: In brief, results showed that the effects of maternal nutritional restriction appeared and increased with offspring age, causing worse developmental patterns for underfed pigs than for control pigs.