|Yen, Jong Tseng|
Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/28/2000
Publication Date: 4/1/2001
Citation: Klindt, J., Yen, J.T., Christenson, R.K. 2001. Effect of prepubertal feeding regimen on reproductive development and performance of gilts through the first pregnancy. Journal of Animal Science. 79:787-795.
Interpretive Summary: Development of gilts that conceive early and continue to produce offspring is a primary objective of swine production. A problem in the swine industry is the excessive proportion of the gilts that do not become pregnant and enter the maternal herd. These gilts consume physical, labor and feed resources and provide minimal return. We investigated different patterns of growth on reproductive development and performance of gilts from 13 week of age through the first pregnancy. From 13 to 25 wk of age gilts were provided ad libitum access to feed, managed as commonly recommended, or subjected to moderate dietary energy restriction, 74% of ad libitum intake. At 25 wk of age gilts were moved to breeding pens and mated. At the end of the pregnancy number, weight and condition of the piglets were recorded. Daily feed intake during breeding was greatest in the previously restricted gilts resulting in compensatory growth. Treatment did not influence days to estrus, days to pregnancy, number born or efficiency of feed use for piglet production. Moderate feed restriction during development reduced feed consumed during prepubertal development and coupled with compensatory gains during breeding resulted in similar reproductive performance and efficiency. Proper nutritional manipulation of prepubertal and subsequent feeding strategy may allow better reproductive management of gilts with reduced feed input.
Technical Abstract: Development of gilts that conceive early and continue to produce offspring is a primary objective of swine production. Herein we investigated different patterns of growth on reproductive development and performance of gilts through the first farrowing. At 13 wk of age 286 white crossbred gilts were penned individually and assigned to treatments: Ad lib, ad libitum feeding from 13 to 25 wk of age; Control, ad libitum feeding from 13 wk of age until 100 kg BW and then 90% of ad libitum feeding until 25 wk of age; and Restricted, 74% of ad libitum feeding from 13 wk to 25 wk of age. Feed was formulated to primarily restrict energy intake. At 25 wk of age gilts were moved to group pens and allowed ad libitum access to feed, and estrous detection was initiated. Gilts were inseminated at first estrus and those recycling during the 7 wk breeding period were remated. At the end of pregnancy number, weight and condition of the piglets were recorded. Daily feed intake during breeding was greater in Restricted gilts than in Control or Ad lib gilts. Greater feed intake by Restricted gilts induced compensatory gains. Days to first estrus and pregnancy were not influenced by development period treatment. Sixty-one, 74 and 66% of the Ad lib, Control and Restricted gilts, respectively, successfully completed their pregnancies. Total feed fed from 13 wk of age to end of the first pregnancy per gilt assigned did not differ among Ad lib and Control gilts, but was less in Restricted gilts. Piglets produced per kg feed fed from 13 wk of age to term was not different among the treatments. Moderate feed restriction reduced feed consumed from 13 wk of age to end of pregnancy with no significant impact on efficiency of piglet production.