Palatability in the food for sows in the weaning phase


Nucleotides may positively influence the reproductive process of pregnant and lactating sows, in addition to improving their health, weight, and other conditions

By Melina Bonato and Liliana Borges (R&D, ICC Brazil)

Nucleotides and free nucleotides are produced by specific enzymes of RNA, and nucleic acids (hydrolyzed by proteases and nucleases) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae autolyzed yeast. (The product Hilyses®, ICC Brazil, São Paulo, Brazil) and are needed in greater quantities during critical periods, such as accelerated growth, stress and situations in which the immunity is compromised.

Hilyses® acts by improving the palatability of feed, involving immunomodulation, reduction of pathogens, adsorption of mycotoxins and maintenance of intestinal epithelial cells. Consequently, the typically observed benefits, in addition to reproductive benefits in pregnant and lactating sows, are improved health, higher body weight, and better feed utilization.

This product has high thermal stability obtained through pelletizing and steam extrusion, as well as long shelf life, and it is recommended at levels of 0.25 to 1.25% in swine diets during breeding; in the nursery phase and occasionally during the nutritional or environmental stress phases.

This paper describes a dose-response study in lactating sows with Hilyses® to determine the optimal dose and provide results so that that producer may assess their possible value in their operations.

Dose-Response in Lactating Sows

The study was conducted at Ianni Agropecuária in Itu, in the countryside of São Paulo, in a collaboration between USP (University of São Paulo) and ICC Brazil.

The study was conducted with 80 sows (Agroceres PIC®), distributed in a completely randomized design, with 4 food treatments (0, 0.4, 0.8, or 1.2% of Hilyses®) and 20 sows per treatment.

The animals were fed experimental diets, starting three days before giving birth, when they were transferred for the maternity unity, until the weaning of piglets, at 21 days old. The number of piglets per sow, and their weight were adjusted (leveled) at birth.

Milk production (total in kg) was estimated using 1 kg of piglet weight = 4 kg of milk. Colostrum and milk samples were collected at 11 and 20 days of lactation for laboratory analysis of RNA (mg/ml milk).


Supplementation with Hilyses® did not result in differences (P>0.05) in the weight or the feed intake of sows. However, the results showed fed diets supplemented with 0.4, 0.8 or 1.2% Hilyses® had a positive effect on milk yield per litter (16.2 lb, 4.82% on average) and total RNA concentration in milk (0.499 mg/ml milk, 52.2% on average); which consequently increased the number of weaned swines (0.68 lb, 7.31% on average), litter weight at weaning (3.51 lb, 2.83% on average), litter weight gain (3, 95 lb, 4.70% on average) and reduced swine mortality (actual -3.80%, -43.28% on average) compared to negative controls.

There were no differences (P=0.143) between treatments in the weight of individual swine at weaning. Supplementation with Hilyses® did not have a significant response (P>0.05) in total RNA in colostrum; however, the amount of RNA in milk at eleven days of lactation significantly increased (P<0.002).

The level of 0.8% of Hilyses® worked perfectly for this study.


These results showed that supplementing sows with nucleotides at three days before giving birth and during lactation (weaning at 21 days) had positive effects on production and milk quality, which consequently increased the weight gain of the litter and increased the number of weaned piglets. It also reduced mortality rate.


Posted in 17 October of 2019