Download the full-sized PDF of Litter birth weight phenotype and maternal n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in pigsDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Litter birth weight phenotype and maternal n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in pigs Open Access


Other title
litter birth weight
fatty acids
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Smit, Miranda N
Supervisor and department
Foxcroft, George (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Foxcroft, George (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Zijlstra, Ruurd (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Dyck, Michael (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Dixon, Walter (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Beaulieu, Denise (Prairie Swine Centre, University of Saskatchewan)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Animal Science
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Research reported in this thesis investigated effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) supplementation, litter birth weight phenotype, and their possible interactions, on reproductive performance of the gilt and sow and postnatal performance of the litter. In an initial study, LCPUFA supplementation to gilts from day 60 of gestation improved litter growth until the end of the nursery period, increased pre-weaning mortality, but did not affect subsequent reproductive performance of the dam. Consistent with the hypothesis that changes to the component traits affecting litter size (ovulation rate and embryonic survival) lead to intrauterine crowding (IUC) of embryos and intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) in a proportion of higher parity sows, data from an initial collaborative study confirmed that, compared to medium (MBW) or high (HBW) birth weight litters, low birth weight (LBW) litters had lighter placentae at term and stillborn pigs born showed benchmarks of IUGR such as a higher brain:liver weight ratio. LBW litters also had higher pre-weaning mortality and lower growth rates throughout the growth period and needed 9 more days to reach a fixed market weight than HBW litters. Carcass quality was similar between litter birth weight phenotypes. As litter birth weight phenotype was found to be repeatable within sows, and given the results from the initial gilt study, a second sow study was performed to investigate interactions between litter birth weight phenotype and LCPUFA supplementation to sows during the rebreeding period, gestation and lactation. Compared to untreated control sows, LCPUFA supplementation reduced litter size at birth and increased postnatal growth of medium/high birth weight (MHBW) but not LBW litters. After weaning, body weight was only improved by LCPUFA supplementation when no competition for food or space occurred, and had no effect on ADG, ADFI or feed efficiency. Carcass fat depth was higher and lean meat percentage lower, when sows were supplemented with LCPUFA. Overall, therefore, the economic benefits of LCPUFA supplementation are questionable. However, the swine industry should strive to find ways to decrease the number of LBW litters: Until this has been achieved, management strategies to deal with LBW litters are critical.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Smit MN, Patterson JL, Webel SK, Spencer JD, Cameron AC, Dyck MK, Dixon WT and Foxcroft GR 2013. Responses to n-3 fatty acid (LCPUFA) supplementation of gestating gilts, and lactating and weaned sows. Animal 7, 784-792

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 1746418
Last modified: 2015:10:12 20:36:02-06:00
Filename: Smit_Miranda_Spring 2013.pdf
Original checksum: cdc891333befddd6418c2b0808120d02
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: Too many fonts to report; some fonts omitted. Total fonts = 1162
File title: Microsoft Word - Thesis Miranda Smit final revised3.docx
File author: Nathaniel
Page count: 242
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date