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The effect of nutrition on the reproductive performance of 1st litter sows 1. feeding level during lactation and between weaning and mating



The effect of nutrition on the reproductive performance of 1st litter sows 1. feeding level during lactation and between weaning and mating



Animal Production 38(2): 241-248



A factorial experiment was conducted with 80 1st-litter sows and involved 2 levels of feeding during lactation (ad lib or 2.0 kg/day), and 2 levels of feeding between weaning and mating (4.0 or 1.5 kg/day). Average lactation length was 32.2 days. Sows given 2.0 kg/day during lactation lost more backfat (6.3 vs. 0.9 mm; P < 0.05) and more live weight (36.8 vs. 9.1 kg; P < 0.05) during lactation than sows fed ad lib and whose average daily food intake was 4.47 kg. Sows receiving 2.0 kg/day during lactation took longer to return to estrus after weaning. Within 8 days of weaning more sows fed ad lib during lactation ovulated (0.90 vs. 0.40; .kappa.2 = 20.0; P < 0.001) and exhibited estrus (0.78 vs. 0.38; .kappa.2 = 12.8; P < 0.001) than sows whose food intake throughout lactation was restricted. Ovulation rate, subsequent litter size and embryonic mortality were not significantly affected by feeding level during lactation. Post-weaning feeding level did not affect the interval between weaning and estrus, but sows receiving 4.0 kg/day between weaning and mating had higher ovulation rates (14.8 vs. 13.0; P < 0.05) and a greater litter size (10.0 vs. 8.8; P < 0.01) at the subsequent farrowing.

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