Internship Assignment – Gestating sows

Location Ede and Beuningen



Recovery of lactation body condition losses in subsequent  gestation

During lactation, the energy and protein requirement of the sow for milk production is very high. The nutrient available for milk production is strongly influenced by the feed intake level of the sow during lactation and shortage of these nutrients will be compensated by mobilisation of body reserves. Body weight loss is ascribed to loss of backfat thickness and body protein mass. The degree of mobilisation varies between sows and determines the body condition at the end of lactation. Higher body weight loss, especially in 1st parity sows, is detrimental to the in a subsequent reproductive performance and also the longevity of the sow. Feeding programs are used in practice to meet the specific needs of sows for energy and nutrient during the second gestation and also to compensate for body condition losses from lactation. To our knowledge, there is limited knowledge around when and how quick the recovery of backfat and body weight occurs during the next gestation. More knowledge on the recovery rate in early gestation is needed to improve nutritional advice in practice.


What will you do as an intern?

We are looking for an enthusiastic student who wants to work within the Global Swine R&D department of De Heus. This internship assignment (also suitable for thesis) combines a literature overview on this topic and practical work at our new research facility in Beuningen. Measurements for this research includes backfat thickness, muscle thickness, body weight and feed intake.


What do we expect from you?

You are following a BSc or MSc degree with a focus on animal nutrition and/or animal fysiology. You have an affinity with the swine sector, you are motivated and eager to learn. Preferably you speak both Dutch and English and possess good English writing skills.

What do we offer?

Royal De Heus offers you a challenging internship in a dynamic and international context, supervised by highly educated and experienced professionals from whom you can learn a lot.


Would you like to work in an international, dynamic, deal driven environment and does this thesis assigment appeal to you? 

Would you like to know more about the thesis assigment? Please contact Jackeline Hornstra, Researcher, phone +31 (0) 6 31 688 302, or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.