The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different feeding time regimes given similar energy intake per kilogram live BW0.75 during gestation on sow’s performance.
One hundred and seventy-four sows [Topigs TN 70 (Landrace × Large White, Topigs USA); parity 3.81 ± 0.16; initial BW = 211.57 ± 3.34 kg; backfat (BF) 13.70 ± 0.42 mm] were blocked by parity, farrowing date, balanced for BW and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments in a randomized complete block design. Treatments included sows fed corn-soybean meal-based diet once at [0730 (control, T1), 1130 (T2), or 1530 h (T3)], with daily feed quantity kept at 1.25× maintenance energy intake [100 × (BW)0.75] kcal ME/d. Sows received 6,758, 7,434, and 8,110 kcal ME/d from days 30 to 60, days 61 to 90, days 91 to 109 of gestation, respectively. The gestation diet was formulated to contain 3,379 kcal of ME/kg, 0.70% Ca, 0.61% total P, 0.58% SID Lys, 0.26% SID Met, 0.45% SID Thr, 0.12% SID Trp, and 0.48% SID Met+Cys. Body weight and BF were recorded on days 30, 60, 90, and 109 of gestation, 24 h after farrowing and at weaning. Results showed that feeding times evaluated did not alter BW changes from day 30 to day 109 of gestation (P = 0.81) or from day 30 to weaning (P = 0.87). Similarly, feeding sows daily at 1130 h did not influence BF gains and sow reproductive performance relative to the control sows (P > 0.10). Sows fed once daily at 1530 h gained more BF compared with the control (3.69 ± 0.47 vs. 2.12 ± 0.50 mm, P = 0.04) from day 30 to day 109 of gestation. From day 30 of gestation to weaning, treatments did not influence BF gain (P = 0.24). Feeding sows daily meal at 1530 h had propensity to increase (P = 0.09) the number of piglets weaned by 0.54 piglets compared with the control sows. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that feeding pregnant sows at 1530 h altered energy and nutrient metabolism improving their BF gain and exhibited a potential to increase the number of weaned piglets compared with conventional feeding regime.