Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

Major Professor

Hank Kattesh

Committee Members

Brynn Voy, Hank Kattesh, Cheryl Kojima


The first experiment was designed to determine the concentration of protected fish oil product (PFO), as GromegaTM, to be added that would sufficiently decrease the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ratio in the sows’ milk and colostrum. Of the 3 diets tested (0.25%, 0.5% and 1%) with a control (0% PFO), only the 1% PFO diet had an effect on the PUFA concentrations. The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentration tended (P = 0.05) to be greater in the 1% PFO diet for both colostrum and milk samples. A second experiment was designed to examine the effects of feeding the 1 versus 0% PFO supplemented diet to sows on growth, markers of acute inflammation and stress in their offspring (16 piglets/treatment group) on d 0 (day of weaning) and d 1 and 3 postweaning. Piglets from sows supplemented the 1% PFO diet had greater gains in weight (P =0.03) postweaning. These pigs also had a lower (P ˂ 0.01) n-6:n-3 PUFA in the plasma when compared to piglets on the control diet. There was an overall treatment effect (P = 0.02) on plasm atotal cortisol, observed by lower concentrations in pigs on the 1% PFO diet. Plasma corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) concentrations were not different between treatment groups but were lower (P ˂ 0.001) on d 1 and 3 when compared to d 0. The calculated free cortisol index [FCI (cortisol/CBG)] of pigs on the 1% diet was lower (P = 0.02) on d 1 and 3 when compared to the controls. The cytokines, IL-1β [beta], IL-6, and TNF-α [alpha] were measured following an ex vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation of monocytes and neutrophils in whole blood collected on d 0 and 1. Pigs on the 1% PFO diet tended to have a lower (P = 0.098) mean concentration of TNF-α in response to LPS when compared with that of the controls. These results suggest that providing a PFO supplement as 1% of the diet to sows beginning in late gestation and during lactation can lower the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio in their offspring, which may reduce the acute physiological stress response in the pigs postweaning.

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