Effect of feeding level during rearing and mating strategy on performance of Swedish Yorkshire sows. 2. Reproductive performance, food intake, backfat changes and culling rate during the first two parities
Cozler, Y. le; Ringmar Cederberg, E.; Rydhmer, L.; Lundeheim, N.; Dourmad, J.Y.; Neil, M.
Animal Science 68(3): 365-377
A 2 X 2 factorial experiment was designed in order to study the effects of feeding level during rearing and of mating policy on the reproductive performance and food intake of first- and second-litter sows. Gilts were offered food during rearing either ad libitum (AL) or at 0(.)8 of the AL level (R) and served either at first (E1) or third (E3) detected oestrus. A total of 160 out of the 243 animals that started the experiment were culled by the end of the second lactation, with significantly more R than AL animals (71 and 60%, respectively). During the first pregnancy, the R sows gained more live weight (LW) and backfat thickness (BF) than their AL contemporaries (+5 kg and +1(.)2 mm, respectively) and lost less BF during the first lactation (1(.)2 mm less). At weaning, no difference remained in LW or BF between AL and R sows (174 kg LW on average). The E3 females gained less LW during both pregnancies compared with those on the E1 treatment, but they remained heavier until the second weaning (208 kg, on average). During the first lactation, R consumed more food during the weeks 2 and 3 (by 0(.)5 kg/day, on average) than those reared previously on the AL regime, and no difference was observed between E3 and E1 females. No difference in food consumption was noted during parity two. However, when measured over the first two parities, lean animals consumed more food than fat animals. The size and the weight of the litter at birth or at weaning were not influenced by the treatment prior to service. The weaning-to-oestrus interval was longer during parity one than during parity two (5(.)7 and 5(.)0 days, respectively; P < 0(.)01) but it was not affected by feeding or mating treatment.