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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Reproduction Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315068


Location: Reproduction Research

Title: Birth weight, neonatal management and sow longevity potential

item Flowers, William - North Carolina State University
item Vallet, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Cassady, Joseph - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: National Hog Farmer
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2015
Publication Date: 4/10/2015
Citation: Flowers, B., Vallet, J., Cassady, J. 2015. Birth weight, neonatal management and sow longevity potential. National Hog Farmer. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The furthest thing from most producers’ minds when a replacement gilt is born is how long she will remain in the herd producing pigs. Instead, the immediate task at hand is to get her to survive until weaning. Nevertheless, whether they realize it or not, much of the reproductive potential that she will possess as an adult is already in place at birth. Moreover, the manner in which she is managed during the next three weeks while nursing her mother also has a significant effect on her future productivity as a sow. Although more research is needed, our current understanding of the relationships among birth weight, neonatal management, and adult reproductive potential indicates that birth through weaning is a critical period that influences sow longevity and provides opportunities for most production systems to improve this important trait.