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The association between growth rate, body weight, backfat thickness and age at first observed oestrus in crossbred Landrace x Yorkshire gilts


The association between growth rate, body weight, backfat thickness and age at first observed oestrus in crossbred Landrace x Yorkshire gilts



Animal Reproduction Science 110(1-2): 108-122



ISSN/ISBN: 0378-4320

PMID: 18289804

DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.01.004

The present study aims to investigate the association between growth rate (GR), body weight (BW), backfat thickness (BF) and age at first observed oestrus in crossbred Landrace x Yorkshire (LY) replacement gilts in the tropics. The study was carried out on five commercial swine herds in Thailand between 2004 and 2006. A total of 6946 LY gilts were included. The gilts entered the herd at about 163 days of age. The BW (kg) and BF (mm) of the gilts were measured when the gilts entered the gilt pools and again when the gilts were sent to the breeding house. The GR from birth to entry into the gilt pools (birth to 90 kg BW) (GRe), the GR from entry into to exit from the gilt pools (91-134 kg BW) (GRi) and the GR from birth until the gilts were sent to the breeding house (birth to 134 kg BW) (GRs) were calculated. The relationship between age at first observed oestrus and GRe, GRs, GRi, BW and BF were analyzed. Pearson's correlation and four general linear models (GLMs) were conducted. On average, the gilts showed first observed oestrus at 200+/-28 days of age. The means of age at first observed oestrus varied from 188 to 251 days (P<0.001) among the herds. The GRs of the gilts significantly correlated with the BW (r=0.55, P<0.001) of the gilts when they were sent to the breeding house and the age at first observed oestrus (r=-0.40, P<0.001). Gilts with a high GRe and GRs were younger at first observed oestrus compared to gilts with a low GRe and GRs. On average, the gilts with GRs of over 604 g/day showed first observed oestrus before 5 months of age. GRi was not correlated with the age at first observed oestrus (P>0.05). Neither the BF of the gilts at entry nor the BF that the gilts gained within the gilt pools significantly correlated with age at first observed oestrus (P=0.29 and P=0.69, respectively). But the gilts with a higher BF at entry tended to have a higher BW when they were sent to the breeding house (r=0.44, P<0.001). The present study indicates that replacement gilts with a high GR (both GRe and GRs) tend to show sign of oestrus earlier than gilts with a low GR (both GRe and GRs).

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Accession: 056243211

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