Factors influencing the postweaning reproductive performance of sows on commercial farms

Y. Koketsu, G. D. Dial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of various factors, including lactational feed intake, on the reproductive performance of sows in commercial herds. The 4 measures of reproductive performance were weaning-to-first-service interval, weaning-to-conception interval, fitter weight at weaning, and subsequent litter size. Parity, farrowing season, lactation length, farrowing-to-conception interval, litter size, and lactation feed intake were investigated as risk factors common to the 4 measures of postweaning reproductive performance. Using 4 basic multiple regression models for each measure, the least-square means for sets of factors were compared using the GLM procedure of SAS. Parity 1 sows had the longest weaning-to-first-service interval and weaning-to-conception interval, and the lighter litter weight at weaning (P < 0.05) than mid-parity sows. Sows in Parities 2 to 5 had larger subsequent litter size (P < 0.05) than those in Parities 1 and ≤ 7. Sows farrowing in summer and spring had the longest and second longest weaning-to-conception interval (P < 0.05), respectively, while sows farrowing in summer had longer weaning-to-first- service interval than those that farrowed in spring (P < 0.05). Sows farrowing in summer produced the lightest litter weight at weaning (P < 0.05). No differences in subsequent litter sizes were found due to farrowing season (P > 0.10). As lactation length increased, weaning-to-first-service interval and weaning-to-conception interval decreased, and litter weaning weight increased. Longer lactation length and farrowing-to-conception interval were associated with larger subsequent litter size (P < 0.05). Litter size did not affect weaning-to-first-service interval or weaning-to- conception interval. Larger litter sizes were associated with heavier litter weight at weaning. Greater lactation feed intake improved the 4 measures of reproductive performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1461
Number of pages17
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1997


  • Lactation length
  • Litter size
  • Parity
  • Reproductive efficiency
  • Season
  • Weaning weight

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