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Piglet birth weight and litter uniformity: effects of weaning-to-pregnancy interval and body condition changes in sows of different parities and crossbred lines



Piglet birth weight and litter uniformity: effects of weaning-to-pregnancy interval and body condition changes in sows of different parities and crossbred lines



Journal of Animal Science 91(5): 2099-2107



Piglet birth weight and litter uniformity were studied in sows of different parities and crossbred lines in relation to: 1) weaning-to-pregnancy interval (WPI) and 2) sow body condition changes (in BW and backfat thickness) during lactation and gestation in sows with a short WPI (≤7d). At the Institute for Pig Genetics (IPG) research farm, individual piglet birth weights and sow body condition (BW and backfat thickness at farrowing and weaning) were measured for 949 TOPIGS20 and 889 TOPIGS40 sows with >4 total born piglets, inseminated between 2003 and 2011. In all analyses, mean piglet birth weight and birth weight SD and CV were corrected for total number born. Total number born was greater in sows with a WPI of 8 to 21 d (+1.2 piglets; n = 72) and >21 d (+0.7 piglets; n = 182), compared with sows with a WPI ≤7 d (P < 0.01; n = 1,584). Mean piglet birth weight was not affected by WPI. Birth weight SD (-23 g) and CV (-1.7%) were lower in sows with a WPI >21 d, compared with sows with a WPI ≤7 d (P < 0.01). Effects of WPI were independent of sow parity. Effects of body condition changes in sows with a WPI ≤7 d were studied separately in TOPIGS20 sows inseminated between 2006 and 2011 (n = 808), and in TOPIGS40 sows inseminated between 2003 and 2008 (n = 747). Sow body condition loss during lactation was not related with subsequent total number born or mean piglet birth weight. Only in TOPIGS20 sows, more BW loss during lactation was related with greater subsequent birth weight SD (β = 0.83 g/kg, P < 0.01; β = 1.62 g/%, P < 0.01). Additionally, more backfat loss during lactation was related with greater subsequent birth weight SD (β = 5.11 g/mm, P < 0.01) and CV (β = 0.36%/mm, P < 0.01), independent of sow parity. Sow BW increase during gestation was negatively related with total number born [TOPIGS20: β = -0.06 and -0.05 piglet/kg BW increase for parity 2 (P < 0.01), and 3 and 4 (P < 0.01), respectively; TOPIGS40: β = -0.04 piglet/kg BW increase (P < 0.01), independent of sow parity]. Sow BW increase during gestation was positively related with birth weight SD [TOPIGS20: β = 0.63 g/kg BW increase (P = 0.01), independent of sow parity]. Sow body condition increase during gestation was not related with mean piglet birth weight. To conclude, this study shows that litter uniformity is compromised by severe sow body condition loss during lactation and improved in sows with a prolonged WPI. These effects are likely related with (insufficient) restoration of follicle development.

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Accession: 055006978

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23463562

DOI: 10.2527/jas.2012-5659


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