Correlation between reproductive performance and sow body weight change during gestation
This study investigated the correlation between piglet performance and sow body weight change (BWC) during two gestational periods: 35-70, 70-105, and 35-105 days. A cohort of 70 sows was evaluated for body weight change (BWC), backfat thickness change (BFC), caliper score change (CALC), feed intake, and weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI). The collected data were then analyzed according to the two specified periods. Our findings highlighted that piglet birth weight, weaning weight, and average daily weight gain (ADG) correlated with sow body characteristics, including BFC and CALC. The strongest correlation was observed with BWC. Piglet mortality was intimately associated with BFC. Piglet birth weight, weaning weight, and ADG showed a positive correlation with sow BWC, particularly during the 35-70 day period. Furthermore, sows displaying a higher BWC during the 70-105 day period, and also exhibiting a higher BW gain from 35-70 days, registered greater piglet weight gains and higher weaning weights. These trends became more apparent as the sow's BWC increased during the 70-105 day period. Piglet mortality increased when the sow exhibited a lower BWC during both the 35-70 and 70-105 day periods. No significant observations were found concerning the number of stillborn piglets, live-born piglets, or weaned piglets, and no interaction effects were detected between these periods. In conclusion, our findings underscore the significance of sow BWC during the early stages of gestation (d 35-70) for enhancing piglet performance from birth to weaning.