First parity sow, Gestation gain, Lactation feed intake, Sow weight change
One of the most costly problems in the swine industry is the high turnover rate of sows in the herd. Failure to consume adequate feed and excess weight loss during lactation has been associated with subsequent reproduction problems. Research has proven that high gestation feeding levels and excessive gestation gain results in low lactation feed intake and excessive sow weight loss during lactation. Sows completing their first parity and sows from extremely productive lines have been identified as those most likely to be lost from the operation because of failure to conceive after weaning. Recommended gestation feeding levels often result in much larger gestation weight gain relative to body weight for first parity sows than mature sows. This might partially explain the high culling rate of sows after their first parity. The research reported herein was designed to determine the effect of gestation gain for first parity sows on farrowing performance, lactation feed intake, change in sow weight, and backfat during lactation and the interval from weaning to estrus.