Effect of weaning age on nursery pig and sow reproductive performance
Journal or Book Title
Journal of Swine Health and Production
Objectives: To determine the effect of weaning age on nursery-pig and sow reproductive performance.
Materials and methods: A total of 2467 crossbred barrows and gilts from 339 litters produced in a commercial multiplication herd were randomly allocated to pens by weaning age. Average weaning-age treatments were 15 days (14, 15, and 16 days) and 20 days (19, 20, and 21 days). To evaluate the effect of weaning age on nursery-pig performance, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain:feed ratio, and feed cost per kg gain were evaluated. Subsequent sow reproductive performance evaluated included wean-to-first-service interval (WSI), wean-to-conception interval, total number of piglets born, and total live-born piglets.
Results: Mean 42-day weight was greater (21.8 ± 0.16 versus 18.7 ± 0.11 kg; P < .001), nursery ADG was greater (0.79 ± .01 versus 0.71 ± 0.04 kg per day; P < .01), ADFI was greater (0.64 ± 0.01 versus 0.57 ± 0.01 kg per day; P < .001), and 1.06 % fewer pigs were removed from test (P < .05) in pigs weaned at average 20 days of age than in pigs weaned at average 15 days of age. Sow reproductive traits did not differ between the two weaning-awge treatment groups. Parity was a significant source of variation for WSI and total live-born piglets.
Implications: Weaning age between 15 and 20 days may have no effect on sow reproductive traits, but may significantly impact nursery growth rate.
American Association of Swine Veterinarians
Smith, Alison L.; Stalder, Kenneth J.; Serenius, Timo V.; Baas, Tom J.; and Mabry, John W., "Effect of weaning age on nursery pig and sow reproductive performance" (2008). Animal Science Publications. 409.