Can sow constipation be controlled by feeding a specific feed ingredient?

Maybe. Results with laxatives are variable. Most of the published research indicates that laxatives do not improve sow reproductive performance.Often sows are constipated because they are not given enough feed during the first few days after farrowing. If sows are constipated, try offering them morefeed after farrowing before adding a laxative to the diet. Also, check that the sows have an ample supply of water.Fibrous feedstuffs or certain chemicals may serve as laxatives. Fibrous feedstuffs such as beet pulp, alfalfa, oats, pysillium, soybean hulls and wheat bran have a high water binding capacity and can act as a laxative. Chemical laxatives include potassium chloride (15 lb/ton), Epsom salts (30 lb/ton), and Glauber salts (60 lb/ton). These inclusion rates are recommendedwhen sows are fed 4 to 4.5 lb of feed/day. The level can be cut in half when sows are full-fed. Natural laxative feedstuffs are preferred becausemineral salts may alter water balance in the body and irritate the digestive system. Limit the amount of beet pulp, alfalfa, oats and wheat bran in the diet to avoid reducing the energy density of the diet too much.