The 2003 agricultural statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicate that litter size per sow has increased over the past decade. As litter size increases, the sow must increase milk production so that the baby pigs can maintain a healthy growth rate. To produce milk, the sow must use a combination of nutrients derived from her diet and from the fat and protein stores in her body.
Phytate is a compound found in many common feed ingredients that decreases nutrient availability in animal diets. The main anti-nutritional effect of phytate is that it makes phytate phosphorus unavailable for digestion and absorption by nonruminants such as swine and poultry. Phytate also has negative effects on digestive enzymes, trace minerals, calcium, protein and amino acids, and carbohydrates.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture