Effect of parity number, year and season farrowing on reproductive performance in Large White pigs


A.S. Kramarenko, Zh.V. Ignatenko, S.I. Lugovoy, T.V. Pidpala, О.І. Karatieieva, O.I. Yulevich, O.V. Artyuhova and S.S. Kramarenko*

 This study examines certain identifiable non-genetic sources of variation (parity number, year and season farrowing) for their effects on Large White sow litter performance traits, such as litter size, mortality and weight of piglets at birth and at weaning. The population used for the present study is from a pig farm managed by Tavriys’ki svyni, LLC, located in Skadovsky district (Kherson Oblast, Ukraine). Reproductive performance records on 280 Large White (LW) sows were used. A total of 633 litters were farrowed from January 2007 to July 2017. The litter records included information on the total number of piglets born (TNB), number of piglets born alive (NBA), number of stillborn piglets (NSB), frequency of stillborn piglets (FSB), average weight of piglets at birth (AWPB), litter size at weaning (NW), piglet pre-weaning mortality (PWM) and average weight of piglets at weaning (AWPW). To determine the effect of parity number, year and month farrowing on reproductive performance traits, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. Results obtained showed significant influence of parity number on most of the reproductive parameters studied, apart from AWPB, PWM and AWPW. The total litter size at birth was the lowest in primiparous sows and in cases second-parity sows, but significantly exceeded the overall average population estimation during the fourth-sixth parities farrowing. The least squares estimates of the mortality rate of piglets at birth were significantly lower than in second parity sows, however they significantly increased in sows at eighth parity. The year of the sow's farrowing had the most significant influence on the weight of piglets at birth and at weaning. Moreover, a clear upward trend can be noted in relation to the weight of piglets at birth, which is accompanied by a gradual increase of the corresponding least squares estimates during 2007-2015. Late summer and early autumn (August-October) are the seasons when the litter size traits in the LW sows consistently show the lowest values, indicating a ‘seasonal infertility period’. Thus, all the analysis performed in the present work shows that in the LW sows, as in other pig breeds, the parity number, year and season farrowing influence the reproductive and developmental processes.
Key words: sows, the Large White breed, parity number, year and season farrowing, reproductive performance traits 
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