Impact of Ergot Infested Sorghum on the Reproductive Performance of Sows
The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of three levels of ergot infested sorghum (EIS ; 0 ,5 and 10% of diet DM) in the diets offered for sows during two reproductive cycles on total live born pigs and weight (LBP; WLBP), survival at 28 days, weight gain at day 28 and 56 (S- 28 d;W-28; W- 56), sows feed intake and weight change during lactation (LFI; LWC), and finally weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI). The EIS contained 235 mg/kg total alkaloids (77% as dihydroergosine “DHES”). During an initial test parity period (1st period) and subsequent test parity period (2nd period) eighteen later-parity sows were fed 3 treatments consisting of a sorghum-based control diets mixed with 1) 0%; 2) 5% or 3) 10% EIS (diet DM basis). An increase in WLBP was observed when 5 and 10% EIS was included in the 2nd period’s diets, although LFI was reduced when EIS was included in that period’s diets. Although W-28 d was not affected when 10% EIS was included in the 1st and 2nd periods’ diets and when W-28 d data of the two periods were combined, piglets W-28 was reduced when 5% EIS was included in the 1st period’s diets and when W-28 d data of the two periods were combined. Although treatment diets did not impact WEI of pigs in the 2nd period, and no response was recorded when 5% EIS was included in sows’ diets during the 1st period, the inclusion of 10% EIS had decreased the WEI during the 1st period.