The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of sow age on apparent total tract digestibility of nutrients and the concentration of metabolizable energy in the diet. The experiment was carried out on 20 gestating sows, divided into two groups: Group I – 10 sows in first pregnancy (131 ± 4.5 kg) and Group II – 10 sows in fourth pregnancy (225 ± 8.2 kg). Sows in the two groups were fed identical diets for sows during early pregnancy. The total collection of faeces began on day 30 of pregnancy and lasted eight days. Sows in the fourth pregnancy had greater digestibility coefficients of dry matter (4.1 percentage units), organic matter (3.4 percentage units), crude protein (5.5 percentage units) and crude fibre (6.2 percentage units) than sows in the first pregnancy. The total tract digestibility of ether extract, starch and sugars was not affected by pig age. The metabolizable energy, determined according to the content of digestible nutrients, in the sow diet in fourth pregnancy was 0.7 MJ/kg higher than in the diet of sows in their first pregnancy. Results of this research indicate that sow age should be considered when formulating diets during early pregnancy.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher