Effect of mating frequency and weaning-to-mating interval on sow reproductive performance

JinLiang Xue, DVM, PhD; Thomaz Lucia, PhD; Yuzo Koketsu, DVM, PhD; Gary D. Dial, DVM, PhD, MBA; William E. Marsh, PhD

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Objective: To investigate the effect of mating frequency (MF) and previous weaning-to-mating interval (PWMI) on fertility and litter size in female swine.

Methods: Reproductive data were collected from 20 Minnesota and Iowa breeding herds, covering a 7-year period from January 1, 1986-December 31, 1992. Natural mating was used in all herds during the study period. Females bred one, two, or three times during a single estrus were included in the study to compare fertility rates (conception rate, farrowing rate, and adjusted farrowing rate) and litter size between mating frequency. Previous weaning-to-mating intervals were also used to investigate possible interactions with MF on subsequent fertility rates and litter size.

Results: Compared to gilts that were mated twice, single-mated gilts had significantly lower (P<.001) conception rates, farrowing rates, and adjusted farrowing rates. Similarly, single-mated sows had significantly lower (P<.001) conception rate, farrowing rate, and adjusted farrowing rate compared to those mated twice. No differences in fertility rates were observed between double-mated and triple-mated females. Mating frequency was associated with litter size in gilts, but not in sows. Single-mated gilts had fewer (P<.001) total-born and liveborn pigs than double- and triple-mated gilts. Litter size did not differ between double-mated and triple-mated gilts. There was no interaction between MF and PWMI that was associated with subsequent fertility and litter size. Sows with 7-10 day PWMI had smaller (P<.001) subsequent litter sizes compared with those that had 3-6 day or 11-14 day intervals.

Implications: Double matings with natural service may improve female fertility rates. Double matings may improve the litter sizes of gilts, but not sows. Triple matings did not improve fertility rates and litter sizes compared with double matings.

Keywords: mating frequency, weaning-to-mating intervals, fertility rate, litter size

RIS citationCite as: Xue JL, Lucia T, Koketsu Y, et al. Effect of mating frequency and weaning-to-mating interval on sow reproductive performance. J Swine Health Prod 1998;6(4):157-162.

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