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Measurements of body composition during late gestation and lactation in first and second parity sows and its relationship to piglet production and post-weaning reproductive performance

L.A. Rempel, J.L. Vallet, C.A. Lents, D.J. Nonneman
Livestock science 2015 v.178 pp. 289-295
backfat, body composition, body condition, body measurements, body weight, corpus luteum, crossbreds, dams (mothers), lactation, loins (meat cut), longevity, ovulation, piglets, pregnancy, regression analysis, reproductive performance, sows, statistical models, weaning
The objective of this study was to characterize multiple body condition traits in a white crossbred composite population of first- and second-parity sows and, determine if these traits relate to litter production and reproductive parameters. Differences between parity or time were determined using a mixed model and reported as LSM±SE. As expected, parity 2 dams were heavier (P<0.0001; 202.5±1.57kg versus 174.1±1.35kg) than parity 1 dams. Of interest however, parity 2 dams lost more (P=0.0340) loin eye area from late gestation to weaning (−4.1±0.78cm2 versus −2.5±0.60cm2) but had a greater (P=0.0026) recovery in loin eye area from weaning to post-weaning (2.8±0.76cm2 versus 0.6±0.59cm2) versus primiparous females. However the period between weaning measurements and post-weaning measurements tended (P=0.0978) to favor parity 1 dams (16.0±0.35d) versus parity 2 dams (15.4±0.43d). Parity 2 dams also had a greater (P≤0.05) ovulation rate following weaning than parity 1 dams. Regression analyses indicated body weight of dams at several time points had a positive (P≤0.05) relationship to ovulation rate (range 0.03±0.012 to 0.05±0.013corpora luteakg−1). Piglet ADG was positively (P≤0.05) associated with dam body weight (range 0.30±0.103gkg−1 to 0.49±0.106gkg−1) and dam backfat thickness (range 0.93±0.363gmm−1 to 1.14±0.378gmm−1) regardless of parity. Regression analyses indicated interactions (P≤0.05) between parity and backfat thickness at weaning (−0.11±0.023pigletsmm−1) and post-weaning backfat thickness (−0.12±0.025pigletsmm−1) were negatively associated with number of nursed piglets weaned among parity 1 dams. Furthermore, loin eye area at weaning (−0.06±0.024pigletscm2 −1) and loss of loin eye area from late gestation to weaning (−0.05±0.020pigletscm2 −1) were negatively (P≤0.05) associated with number of nursed piglets weaned but were not influenced by parity in regression analyses. In conclusion, these data provide knowledge on differences in body composition before and after the lactation period in young dams under similar conditions. Of interest, second parity dams appear to have greater lean tissue elasticity versus primiparous females. Future studies will further refine the relationship among body composition in primiparous females and subsequent impact on sow longevity.