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Trial report no. 1062: Hy-D in sow feed increases litter weight at weaning by 3.6 kg

The addition of Hy-D to sow feed increased the number of pigs weaned and litter weight at weaning. It also doubled the vitamin D¬3 content in the blood of the sows in the trial.


The effect of adding 47.5 µg Hy-D per feed unit (roughly 1,900 IU vitamin D3) to sow feed was compared to the effect of adding 1,145 IU vitamin D3 which corresponds to the content of conventional commercial sow diets in Denmark.  

The investigation was made in a commercial herd and demonstrated the following results

  • The 25(OH)D3 content was significantly doubled during lactation in sows given Hy-D throughout the reproductive cycle. This effect is not expected in sows given 2,000 IU vitamin D3 per feed unit.
  • Litter weight was significantly higher (P=0.003) when litters were standardised to 14 piglets after birth and litter weight was 3.6 kg higher at weaning in the Hy-D group. The difference in litter weight was significant (P=0.022) and may partially be explained by the fact that the piglets were heavier at birth. The greatest effect was observed among young sows (1-2 parity).
  • The number of pigs weaned increased significantly by 0.3 in the Hy-D group.
  • Post-weaning there was no effect on daily gain and mortality regardless whether the pigs were born and reared by a sow given Hy-D when the pigs were standardised to the same start weight. Previous research confirmed that weaning weight is important to the subsequent weaner productivity and the fact that Hy-D pigs were heavier at weaning will therefore positively affect weaner productivity.

For more information on the Danish feed evaluation system, see our section on Danish nutrient standards.

Updated: 20.01.2016


Gunner Sørensen

Programme manager

Tel.: +45 3339 4398