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Nicole Gregory

Position/Title: M.Sc. by Thesis
Office: ANNU 043

I have always loved animals since I was young, and I took every opportunity I could to be around both companion, and livestock animals. The idea of pursuing a career working with animals is what made me want to complete my undergraduate degree in Animal Biology. I graduated from the University of Guelph in 2018 with a major in Animal Biology and a minor in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Science.

In my second year of undergrad I was exposed to animal nutrition and became fascinated in how nutrition can improve the health and performance of animals. In my 4thyear I started to volunteer with Dr. Lee-Anne Huber on swine nutrition projects and developed a passion for swine nutrition and the swine industry.

I am currently doing my masters by thesis with Dr. Lee-Anne Huber. My research project is investigating how a specialized feeding regimen for growing gilts can affect their lactation and lameness. Sows need to remain productive and healthy to stay in the breeding herd. With the average litter size a sow has is increasing, she needs to have a high milk production to feed all her piglets. Having healthy feet and legs is also extremely important as lameness is one of the main reasons for a sow to be prematurely removed from the breeding herd. 

My project involves feeding gilts a high fibre diet during their first main stage of mammary gland development (90 days of age until breeding). The high fibre diet will slow down the growth rate of gilts to help with feet and leg problems, while still supporting maximum mammary gland development and therefore lactation. We will be looking at their milk yield during lactation and at the gilts gait throughout the study to see if there are any effects on lameness. This high fibre feeding regimen will hopefully help gilts maximize their lactation while reducing the incidence of lameness allowing for increased sow productivity and longevity in the breeding herd. The trial is still ongoing and we are continuing to follow the gilts till they have their first litter of piglets.