Effect of Dietary Alpha-Tocpherol and Ascorbic Acid on the Reproductive Performance of Gilts

Authors

  • A. C. Nwangwu Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja
  • A. G. Ezekwe University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • N. S. Machebe University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • S. E. Alu Nasarawa State University, Lafia

Keywords:

alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, reproduction, gilts

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary combination of alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid on the reproductive performance of gilts in the humid tropical zone of Nigeria.Sixteen20 weeks old gilts were selected for this trial and randomly assigned to 4 dietary treatments. Each treatment was replicated twice with two gilts per replicate.One basal ration containing 15% CP and 2,500 kcal/kg, ME was used with different levels of vitamins E and C which were added to the feed at the time of feeding. The gilts were placed on the gestation/lactation diet immediately after selection and were allowed to attain their second estrus before mating took place. Initial body weights of the gilts were recorded before mating following the manifestation of second estrus and date of mating recorded. Gilts were fed 2.0kg of the 15% CP diet each day when pregnancy was confirmed. Weekly body weights of the gilts were subsequently taken throughout the gestation period. At farrowing, their ration was increased to 2.6 kg per pig per day until piglets were weaned at the age of 8 weeks. The birth weights of the piglets were recorded within 24 hours of parturition and subsequently, piglets’ weekly body weights were recorded until weaning. Similarly, the body weights of the lactating sows were taken weekly to monitor their body weight changes during lactation. All the data were processed and analyzed in accordance with 2x2 factorial arrangements in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The result of the experiment showed that average litter size values and the corresponding birth weight mean values were not significantly different (p>0.05) among the treatments. Significantly lower (p<0.05) pre-weaning body weight gain was observed for piglets on T1 with mean value of 126.25±5.62 compared to piglets on T2, T3 and T4 with respective values of 150.77±5.00, 150.51±1.59 and 164.12±7.23. A range of 22.07±3.45% to 25.10±0.10% pre-weaning mortality was observed across treatments. Piglets on T1 had the least weaning weight of 7.25±0.28 kg which differed significantly (p<0.05) from piglets on T2, T3 and T4 with weaning weight values of 8.42±0.24 kg, 8.62±0.08 kg and 8.71±0.60 kg, respectively. The highest (p<0.05) gestation weight gain of 44.33±4.48 kg was observed in gilts on T1. This study suggests that dietary supplementation with vitamins E and C at 250 mg vitamin C alone, 120 IU vitamin E alone and 120 IU vitamin E / 250 mg vitamin C combination during gestation of gilts and their lactation will effectively enhance litter size and lactation performance.

Author Biographies

A. C. Nwangwu, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja

Department of Animal Husbandry Services

A. G. Ezekwe, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Department of Animal Science

N. S. Machebe, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Department of Animal Science

S. E. Alu, Nasarawa State University, Lafia

Department of Animal Science

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Published

2024-07-09

How to Cite

Nwangwu, A. C., Ezekwe, A. G., Machebe, N. S., & Alu, S. E. (2024). Effect of Dietary Alpha-Tocpherol and Ascorbic Acid on the Reproductive Performance of Gilts. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production, 260–262. Retrieved from https://njap.org.ng/index.php/njap/article/view/4747

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