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Interpretive Summary: Dam parity structure and body condition during lactation influence piglet growth and gilt sexual maturation through pre-finishing

By: Lea A. Rempel, Brittney N. Keel, William T. Oliver, James E. Wells, Clay A. Lents, Dan J. Nonneman, and Gary A. Rohrer

Young female swine have a greater challenge successfully producing and raising a litter of piglets as they are still maturing themselves and nursing is an extremely energy demanding event. Piglet growth during the nursing phase can have extended impact on growth and development later in life. Piglets raised by young first-time mothers were smaller at birth and weaning but grew to similar weight and body composition later in life as their contemporaries raised by older more mature mothers. Young female pigs raised by first-time mothers had similar or better sexual maturity than counterparts raised by mature mothers. These findings indicate that piglets reared by first time mothering dams will not have detrimental effects on maturity and reproductive parameters. Producers can confidently select females that were reared by first-time mothers for the breeding herd without sacrificing quality.

Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.