Investigating the reproductive performance of gilt progeny entering the breeding herd

J. R. Craig, BAnVetBioSc (Hons); C. L. Collins, PhD; R. Z. Athorn, PhD; F. R. Dunshea, PhD; J. R. Pluske, PhD

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Objective: To quantify the performance of gilt progeny in the F1 breeding herd at a large swine farm in New South Wales, Australia (Rivalea Australia Pty Ltd).

Materials and methods: Performance data on all gilts selected for entrance to the commercial breeding herd from January 2014 until December 2015 were included in this study. Comparisons were made between gilt and sow progeny in terms of the proportion of animals to reach first breeding, performance to parity 4, and longevity to parity 3.

Results: Gilt progeny were lighter than sow progeny at each live weight measurement (P < .001), and had a higher P2 backfat level at selection than sow progeny (P = .02) at the same live weight. Gilt progeny selected into the breeding herd reached first breeding before 220 days of age less often than sow progeny (P < .001) and were 1 day older at first breeding (P = .003). Sow progeny had a lower farrowing rate from this breeding (P < .001). After the first breeding, there were few differences in performance indices between groups for the first four parities. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of longevity indices.

Implications: Fewer gilt progeny may be selected to enter the breeding herd; however, after farrowing their first litter, selected gilt progeny perform just as well as sow progeny. While it is recommended to continue to include gilt progeny in the replacement-gilt selection process, further research in this field is recommended.

Keywords: gilt progeny, selection, breeding, reproductive performance

RIS citationCite as: Craig JR, Collins CL, Athorn RZ, et al. Investigating the reproductive performance of gilt progeny entering the breeding herd. J Swine Health Prod 2017;25(5):230-237.

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