Machebe N.S., Ezekwe A.G., Okeke G.C.
Physiological effects of body condition of gilts at first mating on pre-weaning performance and survivability of piglets in the humid tropics
Indian Journal of Animal Research
Department of Animal Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Machebe, N.S., Department of Animal Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Ezekwe, A.G., Department of Animal Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Okeke, G.C., Department of Animal Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
An experiment was conducted to determine the impact of pre-mating body condition score of gilts on performance of their litters. Eighteen (18), seven-month old Large White x Landrace crossbred gilts were selected and randomly assigned to three body condition scores; 1 (thin; <15mm backfat), 3 (normal; 15 to 18mm backfat) and 5 (fat; >18mm backfat) respectively. The gilts were mated and their pre-weaning litter performances observed and recorded after farrowing. Results showed that body condition of the gilts at mating affected litter sizes at birth and at weaning, piglet birth and weaning weights, growth rate, survival-to-weaning and piglet mortality in favour of Gilts with normal and fat body conditions at breeding. It was concluded that the body condition of gilts at first mating have significant impact on the performance of their litters after farrowing.
Body condition score; Gestation; Lactation; Mating