Relationship between Body Weight of Primiparous Sows during Late Gestation and Subsequent Reproductive Efficiency over Six Parities

  • Kim, Jin Soo (Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota) ;
  • Yang, Xiaojian (Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota) ;
  • Baidoo, Samuel Kofi (Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota)
  • Received : 2015.11.11
  • Accepted : 2016.02.23
  • Published : 2016.06.01


The present study investigated the impact of parity 1 gilt body weight during late gestation (d 109) on subsequent reproductive performance of sows and performance of suckling pigs. A total of 2,404 farrowing records over 6 parities were divided into six groups on the basis of body weight (190, 200, 210, 220, 230, and 240 kg) at d 109 of gestation of 585 gilts. Significant effects (p<0.05) of body weight on sow retention rate was noticed, with the 210 kg group having the lowest culling rate and highest total number of piglets born alive over the 6 parities. With increase of body weight, a linear increase (p<0.05) in losses of body weight and backfat during the lactation period of parity 1 and a linear decrease (p<0.05) in backfat loss for parities 4 and 6 were found. Compared with light sows, heavy sows had higher (p<0.05) litter weight at birth for parities 1 and 2 and at weaning in parity 1. Sow weaning-to-estrus interval of sows was not influenced (p>0.05) by body weight. In conclusion, maintaining optimal body weight during gestation would be beneficial to sows and suckling piglets.


Gestation Body Weight;Parities;Reproductive Efficiency;Sow


  1. Aherne, F., G. Foxcroft, and J. E. Pettigrew. 1999. Nutrition of thesow. In: Diseases of Swine. 8th edn (Eds. B. E. Straw, S.D'Allaire, W. L. Mengeling, and D. J. Taylor). Iowa StateUniversity Press, Ames, IA, USA. pp. 1029-1043
  2. Allison, P. D. 2010. Survival Analysis Using SAS: A Practical Guide, Second Edition. SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA.
  3. Amaral Filha, W. S., M. L. Bernardi, I. Wentz, and F. P. Bortolozzo. 2009. Growth rate and age at boar exposure as factors influencing gilt puberty. Livest. Sci. 120:51-57.
  4. Barnett, J. L., P. H. Hemsworth, G. M. Cronin, E. C. Jongman, and G. D. Hutson. 2001. A review of the welfare issues for sows and piglets in relation to housing. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 52:1-28.
  5. Charette, R., M. Bigras-Poulin, and G. Martineau. 1996. Body condition evaluation in sows. Livest. Prod. Sci. 46:107-115.
  6. Clowes, E. J., F. X. Aherne, A. L. Schaefer, G. R. Foxcroft, and V. E. Baracos. 2003. Parturition body size and body protein loss during lactation influence performance during lactation and ovarian function at weaning in first-parity sows. J. Anim. Sci. 81:1517-1528.
  7. De Rensis, F., M. Gherpelli, P. Superchi, and R. N. Kirkwood. 2005. Relationships between backfat depth and plasma leptin during lactation and sow reproductive performance after weaning. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 90:95-100.
  8. Dourmad, J.-Y. 1991. Effect of feeding level in the gilt during pregnancy on voluntary feed intake during lactation and changes in body composition during gestation and lactation. Livest. Prod. Sci. 27:309-319.
  9. Dourmad, J. Y., M. E'tienne, and J. Noblet. 2001. Measuring backfat depth in sows to optimize feeding strategy. INRA Prod. Anim. 14:41-50.
  10. Estienne, M. J., A. F. Harper, D. M. Kozink, and J. W. Knight. 2003. Serum and milk concentrations of leptin in gilts fed a high- or low-energy diet during gestation. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 75:95-105.
  11. Goodband, R. D., M. D. Tokach, M. A. D. Goncalves, J. C. Woodworth, S. S. Dritz, and M. DeRouchey. 2013. Nutritional enhancement during pregnancy and its effects on reproduction in swine. Anim. Front. 3:68-75.
  12. Houde, A. A., S. Me'thot, B. D. Murphy, V. Bordignon, and M. F. Pali. 2010. Relationships between backfat thickness and reproductive efficiency of sows: A two-year trial involving two commercial herds fixing backfat thickness at breeding. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 90:429-436.
  13. Jindal, R., J. R. Cosgrove, F. X. Aherne, and G. R. Foxcroft. 1996. Effect of nutrition on embryonal mortality in gilt: Association with progesterone. J. Anim. Sci. 74:620-624.
  14. Koketsu, Y., G. Dial, J. Pettigrew, W. Marsh, and V. King. 1996. Characterization of feed intake patterns during lactation in commercial swine herds. J. Anim. Sci. 74:1202-1210.
  15. Kummer, R. 2008. Growth and reproductive maturity of replacement gilts. 2008 Swine Breeding Management Workshop. Setting up the Herd, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
  16. Maes, D. G. D., G. P. J. Janssens, P. Delputte, A. Lammertyn, and A. de Kruif. 2004. Backfat measurements in sows from three commercial pig herds: Relationship with reproductive efficiency and correlation with visual body condition scores. Livest. Prod. Sci. 91:57-67.
  17. McKay, R. M. 1993. Pre-weaning losses of piglets as a result of index selection for reduced backfat thickness and increased growth rate. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 73:437-442.
  18. Mullan, B. P. and I. H. Williams. 1990. The chemical composition of sows during their first lactation. Anim. Prod. 51:375-387.
  19. NRC 1998. Nutrient Requirements of Swine, 10th edn. National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA.
  20. O'Grady, J. F., P. B. Lynch, and P. A. Kearney. 1985. Voluntary feed intake by lactating sows. Livest. Prod. Sci. 12:355-365.
  21. Patterson, J. L., E. Beltranena, and G. R. Foxcroft. 2010. The effect of gilt age at first estrus and breeding on third estrus on sow body weight changes and long-term reproductive performance. J. Anim. Sci. 88:2500-2513.
  22. Renteria-Flores, J. A., L. J. Johnston, G. C. Shurson, R. L. Moser, and S. K. Webel. 2008. Effect of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber on embryo survival and sow performance. J. Anim. Sci. 86:2576-2584.
  23. Serenius, T., K. J. Stalder, T. J. Baas, J. W. Mabry, R. N. Goodwin, R. K. Johnson, O.W. Robinson, M. Tokach, and R. K. Miller. 2006. National Pork Producers' Council Maternal Line National Genetic Evaluation Program: A comparison of sow longevity and trait associations with sow longevity. J. Anim. Sci. 84:2590-2595.
  24. Tummaruk, P., W. Tantasuparuk, M. Techakumphu, and A. Kunavongkrit. 2007. Age, body weight and backfat thickness at first observed estrus in crossbred Landrace Yorkshire gilts, seasonal variations and their influence on subsequent reproductive performance. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 99:167-181.
  25. Theil, P. K., C. Lauridsen, and H. Quesnel. 2014. Neonatal piglet survival: impact of sow nutrition around parturition on fetal glycogen deposition and production and composition of colostrum and transient milk. Animal 25:1-10.
  26. Weldon, W. C., A. J. Lewis, G. F. Louis, J. L. Kovar, and P. S. Miller. 1994. Postpartum hypophagia in primiparous sows II. Effects of feeding level during gestation and exogenous insulin on lactation feed intake, glucose tolerance, and epinephrinestimulated release of nonesterified fatty acids and glucose. J. Anim. Sci. 72:395-403.
  27. Williams, N., J. Patterson, and G. R. Foxcroft. 2005. Nonnegotiables in gilt development. In: Advances in Pork Production 16. Univ. Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. pp. 1-16.
  28. Wilson, M. E. and T. L. Ward. 2008. Lameness hurts sow reproduction. Zinpro Feet First Symp., Minneapolis, MN, USA. pp. 64-74.
  29. Young, M. G., M. D. Tokach, F. X. Aherne, R. G. Main, S. S. Dritz, R. D. Goodband, and J. L. Nellssen. 2004. Comparison of three methods of feeding sows in gestation and the subsequent effects on lactation performance. J. Anim. Sci. 82:3058-3070.
  30. Zaleski, H. M. and R. R. Hacker. 1993. Variables related to the progress of parturition and probability of stillbirth in swine. Can. Vet. J. 34:109-113.

Cited by

  1. Social status and housing factors affect reproductive performance of pregnant sows in groups vol.84, pp.9, 2017,
  2. Evaluation of three different patterns of feed intake during early lactation in lactating sows vol.89, pp.8, 2018,